Ben Stiller pays tribute to Seinfeld star father Jerry Stiller after death at 92
Ben Stiller has paid tribute to his father, actor and comedian Jerry Stiller, after his death at the age of 92.
The Zoolander star remembered his father as “the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years”.
Stiller’s mother, Anne Meara, and father formed the acclaimed husband and wife comedy duo Stiller and Meara in the 1960s.
Jerry later became well known for his role as George Costanza’s father Frank in Seinfeld in the 1990s.
He also played Arthur Spooner, father of Leah Remini’s Carrie Heffernan, in The King Of Queens, and Zoolander’s manager in the hit comedy directed by his son.
Stiller paid tribute to his father, saying he was a great family man.
He wrote on Twitter: “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 appeared in both movie versions of Hairspray, first as the father of Ricki Lake’s Tracy Turnblad, and later in the 2007 film as Mr Pinky.
He also appeared in a string of films with his son Ben, including The Heartbreak Kid, Heavyweights and Hot Pursuit.
Away from comedy, he appeared in the 1970s thriller The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three, as well as Murder She Wrote and Law And Order.
Stiller and Meara married in 1954 and he wrote a book about their life and career together called Married To Laughter: A Love Story Featuring Anne Meara. Meara died in 2015.
Actor and writer Chris Addison remembered him on Twitter by sharing a Seinfeld clip and writing: “Jerry Stiller! Oh man. I don’t think I watched anything in my life more often than this clip of him making it impossible for @OfficialJLD to go on. @carloscooperos and I used to watch it when we were writing. A legend.”
Broadcaster Samira Ahmed wrote: “Of all the great things Jerry Stiller did, I will always cherish him for being Divine’s loving husband in Hairspray.”
Novelist Linda Grant tweeted: “My favourite character on Seinfeld. Just seeing his face made me laugh. SERENITY NOW.”
Stiller and Meara first became famous on US talk show The Ed Sullivan Show, playing the characters Hershey Horowitz and Mary Elizabeth Doyle.