San Jose Speaker Series
Actor, Filmmaker, Activist
Wednesday, March 29th, 2023
Rob Reiner first came to fame as a two-time Emmy Award-winning actor on the landmark television series Allin the Family. He went on to become an acclaimed director of some of the most popular and influential motion pictures. His work ranges from the satire This Is Spinal Tap to dramas like Stand By Me, Misery, A Few Good Men, and Ghosts of Mississippi to romantic comedies like When Harry Met Sally, to the enduring uncharacteristic The American President, to The Princess Bride. His now 20 films also include The Bucket List, Flipped, LBJ starring Woody Harrelson, and most recently Shock and Awe, about the run-up to the war in Iraq, also starring Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Jessica Biel, James Marsden, and Reiner himself.
In his speaking events, Reiner discusses the enduring legacy of his work, from the revived cultural relevance of All in the Family to the perpetual popularity of many of his films. An outspoken political activist and co-founder of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, Reiner is a frequent speaker at rallies and live events, addressing topical issues, including domestic violence, healthcare, education, substance abuse, and our current political division.
Reiner is also a dedicated political activist. In California, in 1998 he passed a tobacco tax initiative to fund early childhood development. And for seven years he chaired California’s First Five Commission to oversee the implementation of the initiative. In 2003 he led the effort to save Ahmanson Ranch from an environmentally harmful development in the Santa Monica Mountains. He and his wife, Michele, helped form The American Foundation for Equal Rights, which filed a federal lawsuit to overturn California’s Prop 8. Their victory at the Supreme Court paved the way for marriage equality nationwide.
Recently he’s been outspoken through Twitter, Mini Doc videos, and appearances on news broadcasts about Donald Trump’s toxic presidency and the fight to protect our democracy.