Sid Caesar, who became one of television's first major comedy stars through his work on the variety program Your Show of Shows, has died at age 91, his friends Larry King and Carl Reiner said today.
Details of Caesar's death were not immediately available.
“Sorry to learn about the passing of Sid Caesar -- a dear friend, a comic genius and an American classic,” King wrote on his Twitter page, announcing the news. “There will never be another one like him.”
Your Show of Shows produced a wealth of television and movie talent, with a writing team that included luminaries such as Reiner, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Neil Simon and Larry Gelbart.
The show ran from 1950 to 1954, when it transitioned to Caesar's Hour, which aired for three more years.
Caesar battled drug and alcohol addiction after the show's run ended, but he continued to make television and film appearances, most notably in the comic romp It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
The New York native later appeared in Brooks' films Silent Movie and History of the World, Part I. He also appeared as Coach Calhoun in the film musical Grease and its sequel.
“Inarguably he was the greatest single monologist and skit comedian we ever had,” Reiner told The Hollywood Reporter. “Television owes him a debt of gratitude for his pioneering work and the great shows he gave us all. Render unto Caesar what is his due. He deserves real applause from the American people.”
--City News Service