Jerry Stiller biography
Jerry Stiller was born on June 8, 1927, in Brooklyn, New York. He met his future wife, Anne Meara, in 1953 and the couple formed the long-lived comedy act Stiller and Meara. His best known recent roles were as short-fused dads on the shows Seinfeld and The King of Queens. Jerry Stiller is the father of comedic actors, Ben Stiller and Amy Stiller. He shares a star with his wife Anne on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Stiller and Meara
Actor and comedian Jerry Stiller was born on June 8, 1927, in Brooklyn, New York. During his long career on the stage, television, and film, Jerry Stiller has turned in many memorable roles. In particular, he gained popularity for his roles as Frank Constanza on the hit comedy Seinfeld and as Arthur Spooner on the popular sitcom The King of Queens - two legendary television dads with gruff voices and short fuses. But before his successful career in series television, he was a well-known comedian, often working with his wife, Anne Meara.
Stiller and Meara met in 1953 and later married and formed a comedy duo. They played in nightclubs and theaters as well as appearing on television, perhaps most notably on The Ed Sullivan Show - performing on the program more than 30 times. Much of their humor played off their differences - Meara was a tall woman from an Irish-background while Stiller was shorter and Jewish.
The two worked together for decades, but also pursued their own solo projects. They both appeared in the short-lived sitcom The Paul Lynde Show in the early 1970s while Stiller tried to go it alone in Joe and Sons, a comedy about a widower and his two sons later on in that decade. In 1977, the couple tried for their own show with the syndicated Take Five with Stiller and Meara. They also both appeared on Archie Bunker’s Place, the spin-off from the hit series All in the Family, in the early 1980s.
Long regarded as a comedic talent, his recurring role as the blustery father of George Constanza on the hit comedy Seinfeld introduced Stiller to a new generation of fans. The show featured stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld and followed the day-to-day misadventures of Jerry and his friends, Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), George (Jason Alexander) and Kramer (Michael Richards). Stiller wowed audiences with his recurring role as Frank, George’s father, and created several of the show’s great comedic moments, including explaining his made-up holiday known as “Festivus.”
Stiller did not wait long to return to situation comedy after Seinfeld ended in 1998. This time he played Arthur Spooner, a cantankerous widower, on The King of Queens, beginning that same year. His character moved in with his daughter played by Leah Remini and son-in-law played by Kevin James. The show was a hit and lasted for nine seasons before signing off in 2007.
Success on Big Screen
In addition to his television work, Stiller has appeared in several films, including The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), John Water’s Hairspray (1988) and Zoolander (2001), which starred his son Ben Stiller and his daughter-in-law Christine Taylor.
He also has a role in the upcoming 2007 release, The Heartbreak Kid, which also stars his son.
Earlier that year, Stiller and his wife received a joint star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in honor of their careers in entertainment. The couple has two children - Amy and Ben - who are both actors.