The last Carl Reiner on-screen performance is a real tear-jerker. The iconic actor, comedian, writer, and director passed away late last month at the age of 98. And while he may be gone, he is still delivering entertainment to us and his family, thanks to his enormous output of work over the years. However, his last role might stick with people more than a lot of his older work, only because it's so touching, which is not to slight his older work.
Carl Reiner and his son, Rob Reiner, recorded the final scene in Quibi's homemade, fan-created version of The Princess Bride. The elder Reiner takes on the role of the grandfather, originally played by Peter Falk in the iconic 1987 movie, while Rob Reiner plays the grandson, who was originally played by Fred Savage. Rob was extremely excited about being able to do this scene with his dad. "I don't know if you know this, but in the last one, my father's going to play the grandfather and I'm going to play the grandson," he gushed in an interview before the homemade version was released.
As it turns out, the footage was shot just three days before Carl Reiner's death. Rob Reiner sent The Princess Bride footage to Jason Reitman, who was the mastermind behind the whole fan-created version of the story. Reiner announced the news on social media and said, "As I write this my heart is hurting. He was my guiding light." Reiner was not alone in feeling this way. Reitman felt the hurt, but also knew they captured something special. He explains.
"I was in shock at first because I felt like I had just seen him. It dawned on me: It was his final performance on not only a perfect career, but a perfect life. It felt like one more chance to see Carl Reiner. It was actually a scene about the love of a grandfather and a grandson. It's a scene about storytelling. You can't help but imagine Carl reading stories to Rob when he was a kid, and that this is what it looked like and what it felt like."
After Jason Reitman took a look a look at the footage, he sent it to the Reiner family. He then waited for a response to see if it was okay to include the performance in The Princess Bride homemade version. The family responded and loved the footage, insisting that Reitman include it. "At 98 years old, Carl Reiner understood every beat of that scene," said Reitman. "His understanding of the writing, the performance, the pauses, the gestures, the hat, the look to camera, how to make an exit, were as sharp as any actor at any age."
The Princess Bride fan-made creation was put together by Jason Reitman and it features some of the biggest stars in the entertainment industry reenacting scenes from home. However, Carl Reiner stole the show with a moving performance that ends his career perfectly. You can watch Carl Reiner's final on-screen performance above, thanks to the Vanity Fair Twitter account.