Jerry Stiller, ‘Seinfeld’ Actor and Comic, Dies at 92 – Variety


Jerry Stiller, actor and comic and father to Ben Stiller, has died of nature causes. He was 92.

Ben Stiller confirmed his father’s demise within the early hours of Monday morning, writing on Twitter: “I’m unhappy to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, handed away from pure causes. He was an amazing dad and grandfather, and essentially the most devoted husband to Anne for about 62 years. He shall be drastically missed. Love you Dad.”

After a protracted profession performing in comedy routines together with his spouse Anne Meara, showing on Broadway and guest-starring on TV sequence, Stiller turned recognized for his function on “Seinfeld” as Frank Constanza, as Leah Remini’s father on “The King of Queens,” and as Zoolander’s supervisor within the comedy directed by Ben Stiller.

He appeared in 26 episodes of “Seinfeld” as Constanza, the daddy of George (Jason Alexander), from 1993-98, with Estelle Harris enjoying his spouse, Estelle. Stiller acquired an Emmy nomination for his work on the present in 1997.

Although often called a comic, Stiller was additionally a critical dramatic actor with a protracted historical past on Broadway.

Lengthy earlier than Stiller turned recognized for his appearances on “Seinfeld” and “The King of Queens,” Stiller and Meara, have been a prime comedy act within the 1960s, showing on “The Ed Sullivan Present” some 36 instances. The pair have been additionally members of the improv group the Compass Gamers, which later turned Second Metropolis.

Though Meara had the truth is transformed to Judaism when the couple bought married, Stiller and Meara’s materials centered on the variations of their ethnic backgrounds, epitomized by their signature “Hershey Horowitz/Mary Elizabeth Doyle” routines.

Meara died in Might 2015.

On “The King of Queens,” the place he was a sequence common from 1998-2007, he performed the much-married Arthur Spooner, the daddy of Leah Remini’s Carrie Heffernan.

Stiller appeared in each movie variations of “Hairspray,” the 1988 John Waters nostalgia journey by which he and Divine performed the dad and mom of Ricki Lake’s Tracy Turnblad, and the 2007 Adam Shankman-directed characteristic adaptation of the musical based mostly on the Waters movie, by which Stiller performed Mr. Pinky.

As gross-out intercourse comedies got here to rule the day lately, Stiller discovered a distinct segment for himself because the aged comic who would, with relish, say issues not ordinarily anticipated of seniors.

An instance was the Farrelly brothers’ 2007 effort “The Heartbreak Child,” one of many dozen or so comedies by which Stiller appeared with son Ben. The Austin Chronicle mentioned: “A person has not absolutely lived, comedically talking, till his eyes and ears have been blessed with the expertise of octogenarian Jerry Stiller as Doc, the crustily libidinous father of Ben Stiller’s 40-year-old non-virgin bachelor, Eddie Cantrow.”

The hit 2001 comedy “Zoolander,” directed by and starring Ben Stiller because the air-headed mannequin of the title, was a real household affair, with father Jerry enjoying Zoolander’s supervisor, Maury Ballstein. Variety mentioned: Different supporting standout is Stiller’s father Jerry as Zoolander’s aggressively blunt, wannabe youthful agent.”

Along with Ben and Jerry, Ben’s spouse Christine Taylor performed a Time journal reporter; whereas Meara and Ben’s sister Amy appeared in cameos.

Jerry and Ben Stiller first appeared collectively within the forgettable 1987 comedy “Scorching Pursuit.” In Ben’s first characteristic directorial effort, 1994’s “Actuality Bites,” Meara and sister Amy each had roles, however Jerry was absent besides within the credit, the place he was thanked.

Stiller and Meara starred in Joan Micklin Silver’s 1999 characteristic “A Fish within the Bathtub,” a few couple who’ve been bickering for many years, lastly prompting the spouse to maneuver in with their son, performed by Mark Ruffalo.

Demonstrating a capability to do drama, Stiller appeared in a supporting function as Police Lt. Rico Patrone in classics 1970s thriller “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” and he later did “Murder: Life on the Road” and two episodes of “Legislation & Order.” Extra not too long ago, he guested on “The Good Spouse” in 2011 as Choose Felix Afterman.

Stiller was born in New York Metropolis. He graduated from Syracuse College with a B.S. in speech and drama, and he additionally studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village.

He made his Broadway debut in 1954 within the unique musical comedy “The Golden Apple.” He additionally appeared on the Rialto in a revival of “The Threepenny Opera,” 1957 revivals of “Measure for Measure” and “The Taming of the Shrew,” “The Energy and the Glory” (based mostly on the Graham Greene novel), “The Ritz” (1975) and “Surprising Company” (1977). In 1980, Stiller had the starring function within the Frank Langella-directed “Passione,” by Albert Innaurato.

Extra spectacular was David Rabe’s Mike Nichols-directed “Hurlyburly” (1984-85), a caustic satire of Hollywood by which Stiller performed a hack screenwriter. The New York Occasions mentioned: The solid couldn’t be higher… Mr. Stiller, the only real consultant of Hollywood’s older, Jewish era, is a frazzled amalgam of vulgarity and wounded self-importance — loonily outfitted (by Ann Roth) in Western gear.”

He made his display screen debut in 1956 in a section of “Studio One in Hollywood.”

Stiller was busy within the 1970s guesting on the likes of “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father,” “Love, American Model,” “Phyllis” and “Rhoda”; the ’80s introduced visitor gigs on “Hart to Hart,” “Archie Bunker’s Place,” “Alice” and “Homicide, She Wrote.” The 1990s introduced visitor roles on “L.A. Legislation,” “Within the Warmth of the Evening” and “The Larry Sanders Present,” by which he performed himself.

His first effort as a sequence common was CBS’ transient “Joe and Sons” in 1975; subsequent was NBC’s 1988 effort “Tattingers,” a few New York Metropolis restaurant by which Stiller’s character was head chef.

Along with the “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three,” Stiller’s early characteristic work included “Airport 1975” and the characteristic adaptation of Terrence McNally’s farce “The Ritz,” by which the actor performed Carmine Vespucci (whom the actor performed on Broadway), who targets his brother-in-law, Gaetano Proclo, performed by Jack Weston, for assassination, prompting Proclo to hunt refuge in what he doesn’t understand is a homosexual bathhouse. In “Nasty Habits,” a satire of Watergate utilized to the politics of a convent, each Meara and Stiller appeared. He appeared within the odd Frank Langella car “These Lips, These Eyes” in 1980, the Kim Basinger-Jeff Bridges starrer “Nadine” in 1987 and Paul Mazursky’s “The Pickle” in 1993.

In 1999, Comedy Central aired a Friars’ Membership Roast of Jerry Stiller; the Roasters have been drawn from a number of generations starting from Meara and Alan King to Sandra Bernhard, Harvey Keitel and Michael McKean to son Ben and Jason Alexander.

Stiller was nominated for a Grammy in 2001 for greatest spoken phrase album for “Married to Laughter: A Love Story That includes Anne Meara.”

Although Stiller didn’t boast the type of clean voice that one often associates with voiceover actors, he really did numerous work on this enviornment. He was the voice of Fairly Boy in ABC’s animated sequence “Instructor’s Pet” within the early 2000s and the accompanying 2004 straight-to-video movie; Uncle Max in 2004’s “The Lion King 1½”; Outdated White Mouse on Nickelodeon’s “Surprise Pets!” in 2009; Principal Stickler on Disney Channel’s “Fish Hooks” in 2010-11; Harvey within the Disney animated characteristic “Planes: Fireplace & Rescue” in 2014; and Murray Weiner within the 2014 NBC particular “How Murray Saved Christmas.”

Stiller and Meara shared a star on the Hollywood Stroll in Fame, awarded in 2007.


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