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Ben Stiller

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Reality Bites DVD This 1990s classic gave a voice to a generation of disillusioned post-college... more info $9.99was $9.99 Buy Now

Permanent Midnight DVD Based on the autobiography of the same name, Ben Stiller stars as Jerry Stahl, a... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Meet The Fockers DVD In this hilarious sequel to "Meet the Parents" (2000), Ben Stiller and Robert... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Meet The Parents / Meet The Fockers: The... This two-disc collection brings together the blockbuster comedies that... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Meet The Parents DVD Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro star in the laugh-out-loud blockbuster "Meet The... more info $9.99was $9.99 Buy Now

Along Came Polly DVD Take a walk on the wild side with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston in the... more info $9.99was $9.99 Buy Now



Also Known As: Benjamin Stiller, Benjamin Edward Stiller Died:
Born: November 30, 1965 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, writer, director, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

As the child of the popular 1960s comedy team of Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, actor and director Ben Stiller had an up-close view of the inner workings of show business right from the start. Thanks to his privileged perch, Stiller had a leg up when he decided to break into entertainment, starting with several appearances with his parents on stage as a child. When he reached adulthood, Stiller broke off on his own, making short parody films that attracted the attention of producers on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), who hired the young talent as an occasional cast member. He soon made a name for himself with his Emmy Award-winning sketch series, "The Ben Stiller Show" (MTV, 1991-92; Fox 1992-93), which earned a healthy helping of critical praise, but failed to connect with audiences. But it was feature films that allowed Stiller to flourish as a comedic actor. With memorable performances in "There's Something About Mary" (1998), "Meet the Parents" (2000) and "Meet the Fockers" (2004), Stiller established himself as a top-grossing A-list comedian. Not content with merely performing, he made several offbeat dark comedies - including the often misunderstood "Cable Guy" (1996) and "Zoolander"...

As the child of the popular 1960s comedy team of Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, actor and director Ben Stiller had an up-close view of the inner workings of show business right from the start. Thanks to his privileged perch, Stiller had a leg up when he decided to break into entertainment, starting with several appearances with his parents on stage as a child. When he reached adulthood, Stiller broke off on his own, making short parody films that attracted the attention of producers on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), who hired the young talent as an occasional cast member. He soon made a name for himself with his Emmy Award-winning sketch series, "The Ben Stiller Show" (MTV, 1991-92; Fox 1992-93), which earned a healthy helping of critical praise, but failed to connect with audiences. But it was feature films that allowed Stiller to flourish as a comedic actor. With memorable performances in "There's Something About Mary" (1998), "Meet the Parents" (2000) and "Meet the Fockers" (2004), Stiller established himself as a top-grossing A-list comedian. Not content with merely performing, he made several offbeat dark comedies - including the often misunderstood "Cable Guy" (1996) and "Zoolander" (2001) - that helped solidify Stiller as one of Hollywood's most adept comedic talents.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
3.
  Zoolander (2001) Director
4.
  Cable Guy, The (1996) Director
5.
  Reality Bites (1994) Director
6.
  Back to Brooklyn (1989) Director
7.

CAST: (feature film)

4.
 Watch, The (2012)
5.
6.
 Tower Heist (2011)
7.
 Megamind (2010)
8.
 Greenberg (2010)
9.
 Little Fockers (2010)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1975:
Acting debut as a guest on his mother's television series "Kate McShane" (CBS)
1976:
Began making Super 8 films at age 10
1985:
Made stage debut in the Broadway revival of John Guare's "The House of Blue Leaves"
1987:
Feature acting debut in Steven Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun"
1987:
Made a 10-minute short spoof of "The Color of Money" titled "The Hustler of Money"; aired on "Saturday Night Live" in 1997
1987:
Hired as a writer on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC); had a brief stint as a featured performer in 1989
1987:
Appeared in PBS' "American Playhouse" production of "The House of Blue Leaves"
1989:
Created (also wrote and starred) the MTV sketch show "The Ben Stiller Show"; canceled after its first season
1992:
Created (also wrote, directed and starred) second sketch show, "The Ben Stiller Show" (Fox); cancelled after one season
1994:
Feature directorial debut, "Reality Bites"; produced by Danny DeVito
1996:
Cast in a lead role in the hit comedy "Flirting with Disaster"
1996:
Helmed the commercially disappointing "The Cable Guy," starring Jim Carrey; first film with Owen Wilson
1997:
Signed to an exclusive contract with Fox; deal called for Stiller to establish a production company (Red House Productions)
1998:
Co-starred with Cameron Diaz in the sleeper hit "There's Something About Mary," directed by the Farrelly Brothers
1998:
Appeared in Neil LaBute's ensemble "Your Friends and Neighbors"
1998:
Offered a critically lauded performance as a heroin-abusing screenwriter in "Permanent Midnight"; Wilson had supporting role
2000:
Played a rabbi in love with the same woman (Jenna Elfman) as his priest pal (Edward Norton) in "Keeping the Faith"
2000:
Portrayed male nurse Gaylord Focker in the box-office smash "Meet the Parents" opposite Robert De Niro; Wilson had supporting role
2001:
Co-starred with Owen Wilson, as rival male models in the comedy "Zoolander"; also directed and co-wrote
2001:
Portrayed the eldest child in a family of geniuses in "The Royal Tenenbaums"; Owen Wilson co-wrote screenplay with director Wes Anderson and co-starred as a family friend
2002:
Made cameo appearance as a firefighter in Jake Kasdan's "Orange County"
2003:
Co-starred with Drew Barrymore in the lackluster box office film "The Duplex"; directed by Danny De Vito
2004:
Starred as the risk-averse Reuben Feffer in the romantic comedy "Along Came Polly"; produced by Danny DeVito
2004:
Cast as Dave Starsky, opposite Owen Wilson as Ken 'Hutch' Hutchinson in Todd Phillips' spoof film adaptation of the 70's classic television show series "Starsky & Hutch"
2004:
Co-starred opposite wife Christine Taylor in the comedy "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story"; also produced
2004:
Reprised role of Gaylord Focker in the successful sequel "Meet the Fockers"
2005:
Co-starred with Jeffrey Wright in the Neil LaBute play "This Is How It Goes" at the Public Theater in New York
2005:
Voiced Alex the Lion in his animated feature debut "Madagascar"
2006:
Earned an Emmy nomination for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his appearance on HBO's "Extras"
2006:
Played a night security guard in the family adventure "A Night at the Museum"
2006:
Produced "Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny," starring Jack Black and Kyle Gass; also appeared in a cameo
2007:
Played the lead in the Farrelly brother's remake of "The Heartbreak Kid"
2008:
Directed and co-starred in the action comedy "Tropic Thunder"; also co-wrote and produced
2008:
Once again lent his voice to Alex the Lion in "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa"
2009:
Reprised role for the sequel "Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian"
2010:
Played the title role in Noah Baumbach's "Greenberg"
2010:
Once again reprised the role of Gaylord Focker for the comedy sequel "Little Fockers"
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead ("Greenberg")
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
2011:
Co-starred on Broadway in "The House of Blue Leaves" with Edie Falco and Jennifer Jason Leigh
2011:
Headed the ensemble cast of Brett Ratner's "Tower Heist"
2012:
Reprised voice role of Alex the Lion in "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of California, Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California - 1983 - 1984
Calhoun School: New York , New York - 1983

Notes

According to "Jews Who Rock", a book by Guy Oseary, Stiller was once a drummer in a band called Capital Punishment.

"You know what SUCKS? The focus groups. Seeing your movie broken down into numbers takes the heart out of what you're doing--it becomes PERCENTAGES. As a filmmaker who wants to work in the studio system, I found myself wanting to IMPROVE those numbers. [But] after a certain point, a filmmaker shouldn't be pushed to get the score up like an SAT score. All of a sudden it was like I was back in high school saying 'No, wait I KNOW I can get a better score on this test!'" --Stiller on directing "Reality Bites," quoted in Movieline, March 1994.

"I think this whole celebrity world is weird anyway. Weird and funny and kind of pathetic and yet so ripe for parody. There's a sense here in L.A. that everybody's aware of everybody all the time. It's funny but we choose it. People who are here want to be here, including me." --Stiller, quoted in Interview, April 1996.

"I don't think it's ever easy to be funny. I find it easy to amuse myself with a certain sort of cynical, dark humor that tends toward the meaner side, like my character in 'Happy Gilmore.' Those kinds of characters come easily to me. I'm just not a naturally cheery person. I'm naturally moody. I know that from people who spend a lot of time with me." --Ben Stiller, quoted in Interview, April 1996.

"I never thought I was funny." --Stiller to Janeane Garofalo in The New York Times Magazine, December 28, 1997.

"I've never really felt like a funny, funny guy. I've never really felt like Mr. Life of the Party. People who know me know that I'm not the most gregarious person. I'm trying to open myself up more. I've realized in the last few years that my state of mind affects how I live my life." --Ben Stiller quoted in "His Journey From Nerdy New York Kid to Hip Hollywood Royalty Proves There's Something About Ben Stiller" by Chris Mundy in Rolling Stone, November 12, 1998.

"I think the Farrelly brothers (and David O. Russell when I did 'Flirting With Disaster') see me as a reactive guy. If you have a guy doing something really funny, I like to contribute on some level by being the straight person, that's about subtelty and not having to do anything except 'be', and that's a real challenge. It's amazing what is picked up by the camera. ... " --Stiller to Empire, October 1998.

"What most people don't know is that Ben has his own demons; he's got pain for days, and he really tapped into that. As Ben once said, 'The reason I don't do drugs is that I would like them too much.' Which I can relate to. I just have a different story." --Jerry Stahl, whom Stiller portrayed in "Permanent Midnight", quoted in Premiere, November 1998.

"In 'Permanent Midnight', I identified with my character's alienation. I connected with his feelings of self-loathing, of being unable to embrace who he was or bond with other people." --Stiller quoted in The New York Times, September 20, 1998.

"I see Ben as the conscience of his generation, and a messenger of all its excesses. I follow his career like I follow the path of a hurricane." --Jerry Stiller on his son, quoted in The New York Times, September 20, 1998.

"I do have anger. Rage and anxiety are kind of a funny mix because they're fighting against each other, and I definitely cop to that." --Stiller to Los Angeles Times, September 9, 2001.

"When I was a kid, I didn't fantasize about being a comedy star. I was thinking, wouldn't it be great to be Gene Hackman in 'The Poseidon Adventure'? My specific goal was to be a director and make all different kinds of movies. 'There's Something About Mary?', 'Meet the Parents', I didn't fantasize about being that guy." --Stiller to GQ, September 2001.

Stiller on parallels between the world "Zoolander" occupies and Hollywood: "I've met a few male models and they remind me of actors because there are some actors who don't take what they do seriously at all, but there are others who think they're God's gift to humanity. Also, acting and modeling aren't very masculine professions. That's why I like directing more, because to me it feels like a job you can feel comfortable doing. Not that I'm a macho guy at all, but sometimes it can be a little strange being the guy who has the make-up put on. Sometimes, you want to take more responsibility for yourself. --to The Times of London, November 25, 2001.

In the wake of the attacks on September 11, Stiller cancelled his appearance as host of the season opener of "Saturday Night Live". Answering producer Lorne Michaels' snipe, "I thought he was a New Yorker", Stiller told Details (December 2001): "I don't need to defend myself as a New Yorker. I grew up here. I'm not Canadian."

"Did I say that I wanted to stretch? You know, I like doing comedies, and I think that comedy is challenging. For whatever reason, the comedies are the best opportunities I've been offered.

"I don't really have a burning desire to go off and be taken really seriously as an actor. You know, I don't have a master plan in that way. I just want to do what I enjoy doing and hopefully not do the same thing over and over again." --Stiller to Chicago Sun-Times, December 22, 2001.

"I like the idea of playing parts that will somehow just give me a little bit more insight into myself as a person," he says. "...[I like] trying to figure out how to become that character and finding what I had in common with that character."---Stiller Biography Spring 2004

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Janeane Garofalo. Actor, comic. Had brief relationship in the early 1990s.
companion:
Jeanne Tripplehorn. Actor. Had on-again, off-again relationship for several years; reportedly engaged at one time; no longer together.
companion:
Amanda Peet. Actor. Dated briefly in 1998.
companion:
Claire Forlani. Actor. Dated c. 1998-99.
wife:
Christine Taylor. Actor. Began dating as of June 1999; became engaged in fall 1999; married in Kauai, Hawaii on May 13, 2000.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Jerry Stiller. Actor, writer, comedian. Born in 1927; married Anne Meara on September 14, 1954; half of comedy team of Stiller and Meara; recalled for playing recurring role of Frank Constanza on "Seinfeld".
mother:
Anne Meara. Actor, comedian, playwright, screenwriter. Born in 1929; married Jerry Stiller on September 14, 1954; half of husband-wife comedy team Stiller and Meara; directed by son in "Reality Bites".
sister:
Amy Stiller. Actor. Born c. 1963.
daughter:
Ella Olivia. Born 04/2002.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

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