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Late in his career, Stiller earned the part of the short-tempered Frank Costanza, father of George Costanza, on the sitcom Seinfeld, a role which Stiller played from 1993 until 1998. Meara was Irish Catholic and converted to Judaism before the couple's two children were born. [15], The comedy team Stiller and Meara, composed of Stiller and his wife, Anne Meara, was successful throughout the 1960s, with numerous appearances on television variety programs, primarily on The Ed Sullivan Show. Stiller wrote the foreword to the 2005 book Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us (.mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Lock-green.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg")right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}ISBN 0-446-69674-9) by Allen Salkin. Swing States Revealed a Nation Plagued by Misinformation, The True Story of the Trial of the Chicago 7, You can unsubscribe at any time. Louis-Dreyfus added that Stiller created Frank’s trademark gesture of looking to the sky in frustration was actually Stiller trying to remember his lines. Stiller later appeared in cameos for in-concert films for the band's 2007–08 Snakes & Arrows Tour. Meara was upset about an interaction with the casting agent, so Stiller took her out for coffee—all he could afford—and they remained together ever since. On February 9, 2007, Stiller and Meara were honored with a joint star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Jerry and Ben Stiller first appeared together in the forgettable 1987 comedy “Hot Pursuit.” In Ben’s first feature directorial effort, 1994’s “Reality Bites,” Meara and sister Amy both had roles, but Jerry was absent except in the credits, where he was thanked. It was such a funny scene that the Seinfeld team decided to run the bloopers over the closing credits, which was not standard practice. They subsequently forged a career in radio commercials, notably the campaign for Blue Nun wine. Jerry Stiller, an actor and comedian and father to Ben Stiller, has died of natural causes. Proud Jewish Dad". Demonstrating an ability to do drama, Stiller appeared in a supporting role as Police Lt. Rico Patrone in classics 1970s thriller “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” and he later did “Homicide: Life on the Street” and two episodes of “Law & Order.” More recently, he guested on “The Good Wife” in 2011 as Judge Felix Afterman. Ben Stiller confirmed his father’s death early Monday morning, writing on Twitter: ̶… He also performed voice-over work for television and films including The Lion King 1½ and Planes: Fire and Rescue. Though known as a comedian, Stiller was also a serious dramatic actor with a long history on Broadway. Stiller and Meara shared a star on the Hollywood Walk in Fame, awarded in 2007. [30][31] Many actors Stiller worked with, including Seinfeld castmates Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, Michael Richards[32] and King of Queens castmates Kevin James and Leah Remini, paid tributes to him on social media. Louis-Dreyfus remembered that a few weeks after filming, Jerry Seinfeld went on a late night talk show and brought the clip to show “what a professional organization he was running.”. Gerald Isaac Stiller (June 8, 1927 – May 11, 2020) was an American comedian, actor, and author. He was the voice of Pretty Boy in ABC’s animated series “Teacher’s Pet” in the early 2000s and the accompanying 2004 straight-to-video film; Uncle Max in 2004’s “The Lion King 1½”; Old White Mouse on Nickelodeon’s “Wonder Pets!” in 2009; Principal Stickler on Disney Channel’s “Fish Hooks” in 2010-11; Harvey in the Disney animated feature “Planes: Fire & Rescue” in 2014; and Murray Weiner in the 2014 NBC special “How Murray Saved Christmas.”. He was 92. In “Nasty Habits,” a satire of Watergate applied to the politics of a convent, both Meara and Stiller appeared. Stiller voiced the announcer on the children's educational show Crashbox. Until Stiller suggested it, Meara had never thought of doing comedy. “Jerry Stiller always made us laugh,” said Alexander, beginning at the minute 32 mark in the video below. "Jerry Stiller received awards for comedic talent during time as SU student", "Jerry Stiller, 'Seinfeld' and 'Hairspray' Actor and Comedian, Dies at 92", "Anne Meara, Comedian and Actress, Dies at 85", "Jerry Stiller, 'Seinfeld' Actor and Father of Ben Stiller, Dies at 92", "Jerry Stiller Once Told Us How the Real Frank Costanza Was Born in the Middle of a Seinfeld Scene", "King of Queens cast prepares to say farewell", "CBS PRESS EXPRESS WHEN CARRIE PUTS ON A COUPLE OF EXTRA POUNDS, DOUG", "STILLER AND MEARA RECEIVE STAR ON HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME", "Introducing ... Festivus Appreciation Day", "Actress and Comedian Anne Meara, Mother of Ben Stiller, Dies at 85", "Ladies and Gentlemen, Give It Up for, er ... Ben Stiller's Sister! The duo had their own 1986 TV sitcom, The Stiller and Meara Show, in which Stiller played the deputy mayor of New York City and Meara portrayed his wife, a TV commercial actress. In his later career, Stiller became known for playing grumpy and eccentric characters who were nevertheless beloved. Earlier this month, Louis-Dreyfus and Alexander remotely reunited as part of a fundraising effort for the nonprofit Direct Relief and they were asked about the scene. Law,” “In the Heat of the Night” and “The Larry Sanders Show,” in which he played himself. The year Seinfeld went off the air, Stiller began his role as the eccentric Arthur Spooner on the CBS comedy series The King of Queens, another role which garnered him widespread acclaim. In 1980, Stiller had the starring role in the Frank Langella-directed “Passione,” by Albert Innaurato. More impressive was David Rabe’s Mike Nichols-directed “Hurlyburly” (1984-85), a caustic satire of Hollywood in which Stiller played a hack screenwriter. He also appeared in various motion pictures, most notably Zoolander (2001) and Secret of the Andes (1999). Stiller appeared on Dick Clark's $20,000 Pyramid show in the 1970s, and footage of the appearance was edited into an episode of The King of Queens to assist the storyline about his character being a contestant on the show, and, after losing, being bitter about the experience, as he never received his parting gift, a lifetime supply of Rice-a-Roni. [23] He also made several appearances on the game show, Tattletales, with his wife, Anne Meara. [2][3], The eldest of four children,[4] Stiller was born at Unity Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, to Bella (née Citron; 1902–1954) and William Stiller (1896–1999), a taxi and bus driver. Although Meara had in fact converted to Judaism when the couple got married, Stiller and Meara’s material centered on the differences in their ethnic backgrounds, epitomized by their signature “Hershey Horowitz/Mary Elizabeth Doyle” routines. Each episode was about two minutes long. Stiller saw a late-career resurgence starting in 1993, playing George Costanza's father Frank on the sitcom Seinfeld, a part which earned him an Emmy nomination. Stiller's character as initially envisioned was a "meek" and "Thurberesque" character that required him to wear a bald cap. He appeared in 26 episodes of “Seinfeld” as Constanza, the father of George (Jason Alexander), from 1993-98, with Estelle Harris playing his wife, Estelle. After a long career performing in comedy routines with his wife, Anne Meara, appearing on Broadway and guest-starring on TV series, Stiller became known for his role on “Seinfeld” as Frank Constanza, as Leah Remini’s father on “The King of Queens,” and as Zoolander’s manager in the comedy directed by Ben Stiller. It should be noted that Stiller, ever the professional, never once breaks, which makes Alexander’s and Louis-Dreyfus laugh even harder as he looms over them stony faced while they crumple over in giggles. Stiller was married to Anne Meara for over 60 years, from 1954 until her death on May 23, 2015. His first on-screen role was in 1956 in a segment of “Studio One in Hollywood.” Later, Stiller was busy in the 1970s guesting on the likes of “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father,” “Love, American Style,” “Phyllis” and “Rhoda”; the ’80s brought guest gigs on “Hart to Hart,” “Archie Bunker’s Place,” “Alice” and “Murder, She Wrote.” The 1990s brought guest roles on “L.A. He made his Broadway debut in 1954 in the original musical comedy “The Golden Apple.” He also appeared on the Rialto in a revival of “The Threepenny Opera,” 1957 revivals of “Measure for Measure” and “The Taming of the Shrew,” “The Power and the Glory” (based on the Graham Greene novel), “The Ritz” (1975) and “Unexpected Guests” (1977). In a review,Variety’s film critic Todd McCarthy wrote, Other supporting standout is Stiller’s father Jerry as Zoolander’s aggressively blunt, wannabe youthful agent.” In addition to Ben and Jerry, Ben’s wife Christine Taylor played a Time magazine reporter; while Meara and Ben’s sister Amy appeared in cameos. Ben Stiller confirmed his father’s death early Monday morning, writing on Twitter: “I’m sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, passed away from natural causes. Stiller agreed and played the role of Arthur Spooner, the father of Carrie Heffernan, from 1998 until 2007. [24][25] Stiller also worked as a spokesman for Xfinity. He spent many years as part of the comedy duo Stiller and Meara with his wife, Anne Meara, to whom he was married for over 60 years until her death in 2015. As the scene slowly progresses, Stiller bellows, “You want a piece of me? Take after take, Stiller gets Louis-Dreyfus laughing with just one line. On “The King of Queens,” where he was a series regular from 1998-2007, he played the much-married Arthur Spooner, the father of Leah Remini’s Carrie Heffernan. [18][21], After Seinfeld ended, Stiller had planned on retiring. He was 92. From 1979 to 1982, Stiller and Meara hosted HBO Sneak Previews, a half-hour show produced monthly on which they described the movies and programs to be featured in the coming month.

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