The world of comedy has lost a great star.
Seinfeld actor and longtime comedian Jerry Stiller passed away on Monday of natural causes. He was 92 years old.
His son Ben Stiller announced his passing via Twitter early Monday morning:
“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.”
His public career began after graduating from Syracuse University following his return from service in World War II when he began working in the theater. He met budding actor-comedian Anne Meara in 1953 at an agent’s office, where he found her upset over an interaction with a casting person. He took her out for coffee, and the rest is history. The two began doing comedy together throughout the 1960s and 1970s after marrying in 1954, with successful appearances on programs such as The Ed Sullivan Show.
Although the Stiller and Meara variety series act began to decline somewhat, they went on to star in a syndicated five-minute sketch series, host HBO Sneak Previews, and even launch their own TV sitcom in 1986.
Together with Anne, he had two children, Ben and Amy Stiller, and two grandchildren via Ben, 18-year-old Ella Olivia and 14-year-old Quinlan Dempsey.
Jerry later had a resurgence in his career and became known as Frank Costanza on Seinfeld, where he was a recurring character for 26 episodes from seasons 4 through 9 of the sitcom. In 1997, he received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series for his beloved role as Jason Alexander‘s father.
After the series ended in 1998, he considered retiring from acting, but Kevin James asked him to join the cast of The King Of Queens, where he starred as a main character. In addition to his TV work, Mr. Stiller also appeared in films such as Zoolander and Zoolander 2, both directed by his son, as well as Hairspray and The Heartbreak Kid.
Our hearts go out to the entire Stiller family, along with all of Jerry’s loved ones and friends.
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