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Jerry Stiller

Jerry Stiller

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Also Known As: Gerald Stiller Died:
Born: June 8, 1927 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA Profession: actor, comedian, radio commercial writer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

One of the few non-superstar performers with genuine cross-generational appeal, Jerry Stiller was an actor best known to younger audiences for his portrayal of two explosive and eccentric TV fathers - Frank Costanza on "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1989-1998) and Arthur Spooner on "King of Queens" (CBS, 1998-2007). But older TV fans and moviegoers remembered him as one half of Stiller and Meara, a popular comedy team with roots in the famed Second City improvisational group. Stiller also endeared himself to audiences with exuberant performances in features like John Waters' "Hairspray" (1985) and its 2007 remake. And he was a veteran of the New York stage, with frequent appearances in Joseph Papp's Shakespeare in the Park productions, and on Broadway in "The Ritz" and "Hurlyburly" for Mike Nichols. The fact that he was also the father of the extremely successful comic film actor, Ben Stiller, was not lost on fans who could see that the comic apple did not fall from the tree.

One of the few non-superstar performers with genuine cross-generational appeal, Jerry Stiller was an actor best known to younger audiences for his portrayal of two explosive and eccentric TV fathers - Frank Costanza on "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1989-1998) and Arthur Spooner on "King of Queens" (CBS, 1998-2007). But older TV fans and moviegoers remembered him as one half of Stiller and Meara, a popular comedy team with roots in the famed Second City improvisational group. Stiller also endeared himself to audiences with exuberant performances in features like John Waters' "Hairspray" (1985) and its 2007 remake. And he was a veteran of the New York stage, with frequent appearances in Joseph Papp's Shakespeare in the Park productions, and on Broadway in "The Ritz" and "Hurlyburly" for Mike Nichols. The fact that he was also the father of the extremely successful comic film actor, Ben Stiller, was not lost on fans who could see that the comic apple did not fall from the tree.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

4.
6.
 Ice Dreams (2009)
7.
8.
 Hairspray (2007)
9.
 Disney's Teacher's Pet (2004) Voice Of Pretty Boy
10.
 Lion King 1 1/2, The (2004) Voice Of Uncle Max
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Reportedly, his father paid Stiller's college tuition with winning from the Irish Sweepstakes
1950:
Stage debut as Bill Barnes in Chicago production of "Show Boat"
1951:
Toured in "Peter Pan"
1951:
Performed with various stock companies
1954:
Was in New York production of "The Golden Apple"; married Anne Meara
1957:
Begin performing as Stiller & Meara
1960:
Stiller & Meara made first of 36 appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show"
:
Appeared with Meara as recurring characters on "The Paul Lynde Show" (ABC)
1972:
Stiller & Meara made album, "Laugh When You Like"
1974:
Film debut "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three"
1975:
Stiller & Meara launch obscure "Blue Nun" wine with radio spots (date approximate)
:
Played regular role on "Joe & Sons" (CBS)
1976:
Played Carmine Vespucci in "The Ritz"
1977:
"Take Five With Stiller & Meara" TV show launched in syndication
:
Appeared regularly on "Archie Bunker's Place" (CBS)
1981:
Co-starred in TV-movie, "Madame X"
1984:
Appeared on Broadway in David Rabe's "Hurlyburly"
1986:
Co-starred in "The Stiller and Meara Show" on NBC
1988:
Cast as Dogberry in New York Shakespeare Festival production of "Much Ado About Nothing" in Central Park
1988:
Featured in John Waters' "Hairspray"
:
Had regular role on short-lived series "Tattingers"
1991:
Starred in "American Playhouse" production of "The Hollow Boy"
:
Played recurring role of Frank Costanza on "Seinfeld"
1998:
Co-starred in the CBS sitcom "King of Queens"
2004:
Voiced Pretty Boy in "Disney's Teacher's Pet: The Movie"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Seward Park High School: New York , New York -
Syracuse University: Syracuse , New York - 1950
Syracuse University: Syracuse , New York - 1950

Notes

Stiller's college tuition was paid with $5,000 he father won in the Irish Sweepstakes.

"When you think about George [Jason Alexander's character on 'Seinfeld'], this is a guy who had a mission; he's not Generation X, he's Generation Why. I'm Generation Who Knows? My father probably behaved toward me the same way, he gave me the leeway to do what I wanted to do, but nobody wanted me to be an actor." --Stiller in The LOS ANGELES TIMES, April 28, 1994

"I used to think I was a comedian, and then when I started to think I was funny, my wife said 'You're not very funny. You're better off when you don't try to be funny.' So then I started to be an actor, but I didn't think I was that good of an actor. So who knows?" --Stiller in THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, April 28, 1994

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Anne Meara. Actor, comedian, playwright. Married on September 14, 1954.

Family close complete family listing

father:
William Stiller. Retired bus driver. Died on February 18, 1999 at age 102.
mother:
Bella Stiller.
step-mother:
Marsha Stiller.
brother:
Arnold Stiller.
sister:
Doreen Stiller.
brother:
Maxime Stiller.
daughter:
Amy Stiller. Actor. Born c. 1963.
son:
Ben Stiller. Actor, director. Born on November 30, 1965.
daughter-in-law:
Christine Taylor. Actor.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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