Jerry Stiller, Father of Actor Ben Stiller, Dies at 92

Ben Stiller, Jerry Stiller

"Seinfeld" actor Jerry Stiller, who is also the father of actor Ben Stiller, has passed away in the early hours of Monday morning at the age of 92. 

Ben took to his Twitter to confirm his father's death, saying, "I'm sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, passed away from natural causes. He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years. He will be greatly missed. Love you, Dad."

Jerry Stiller was born in Depression-era Brooklyn, New York. He was the eldest of four children. He was considerably more subdued and contemplative in person than in character, although just as entertaining. 

He was the son of a bus driver and a housewife, and his inspiration to enter the entertainment industry reportedly came at the age of eight years old, when his dad took him to see the Marx Brothers in the comedy classic, "A Night at the Opera."

Before trying his luck in Tinseltown, Jerry Stiller severed in the US army during the Second World War. After returning from the war, he studied drama at Syracuse University. 

Jerry then started his career in the theater, before meeting his future wife and then began comedy together. He was involved in a Shakespearean theater, which included a $55 a week job with Jack Klugman in "Coriolanus."

By the 1950s, Jerry became a successful comedian,where he met Anne Meara in the spring of 1953. By fall, they were married.

Jerry became a prominent actor after starring in "Stiller and Meara" along with his wife for "The Ed Sullivan Show." The couple appeared 36 times on the show in the 1960s.

The couple was also members of the improv group, the Compass Players, which later became Second City. 

Jerry had a key role not only in small and big screens but also on the TV series "Seinfeld" as George Costanzas' father appearing in 26 episodes of the show from 1993 to 1998. Because of his performance for the series, Jerry Stiller received an Emmy nomination. 

He also became Leah Remini's father on "The King of Queens" where he was a series regular from 1998 to 2007, playing as Arthur Spooner, as well as roles in "Murder She Wrote" and "Law & Order."

Jerry also starred alongside his son, Ben Stiller, in several films such as "The Heartbreak Kid" and the two "Zoolander" movies.

Though Meara converted to Judaism when she married Jerry, the pair's material centered on the differences in their ethnic backgrounds, epitomized by their signature "Hershey Horowitz/Mary Elizabeth Doyle," routines, as per Variety.

Jerry Stiller also wrote an autobiography, "Married to Laughter," about his marriage of 50 years to Meara, who died in 2015. 

While he was known to be a comedian on screen, he and his wife Meara raised two children in their home in Manhattan's Upper West Side. 

Amy Stiller became an actress, and their son Ben, who also became a director, writer, and actor for several movies including, "Dodgeball," "Meet the Parents," and "There's Something About Mary." 

 

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