Jerry Stiller, beloved Seinfeld actor and father to Ben Stiller, has died from natural causes at the age of 92. The news arrived through a tweet from Ben, who paid tribute to the veteran comic as “a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years.” Ben added, “He will be greatly missed. Love you Dad.”
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. pic.twitter.com/KyoNsJIBz5
— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) May 11, 2020
Stiller’s career spanned decades, with him gaining comedy notoriety in the 1960s and ’70s as part of the comedy team Stiller and Meara, a partnership forged with his wife, Anne Meara (who preceded him in death in 2015). Together, the pair appeared (dozens of times) on The Ed Sullivan Show to bring laughs into living rooms while helping to shape the comedy landscape. Jerry’s career resurgence began in the 1990s when he was cast as his signature character, Frank Costanza, the curmudgeonly and often-shouty father to George. This role spawned many memorable appearances and quotes, including Frank’s origination of Festivus and the “Serenity Now!” declaration. Jerry later delighted The King of Queens viewers as Arthur Spooner, father to Carrie.
In addition to being a comedy partner and devoted husband to Anne, the two became parents to two children, Ben and Amy. In 1987, Jerry performed alongside Ben in the Oscar-nominated Shoeshine short. Jerry also appeared in 2001’s Zoolander, directed by and starring Ben. Anne and Jerry are survived by Ben and Amy, who will carry on their family’s legacy in show business.