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Jerry Stiller
JerryStillerNYC05.jpg
Stiller in New York City in November 2005
Birth name Gerald Isaac Stiller
Born June 8, 1927 (1927-06-08) (age 82)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Medium Television
Years active 1956–present
Spouse Anne Meara
(1954–present)
Notable works and roles Frank Costanza on Seinfeld
Arthur Spooner on
The King of Queens
Jerry Bender on
The Stiller and Meara Show
Father of Ben and Amy Stiller
American Comedy Awards
Funniest Male Guest Appearance in a TV Series
1998 Seinfeld

Gerald Isaac "Jerry" Stiller (born June 8, 1927) is an American comedian and actor.

He spent many years in the comedy team Stiller and Meara with his wife Anne Meara. Stiller and Meara are the parents of actor Ben Stiller (with whom he co-starred in the movies Zoolander, Heavyweights, Hot Pursuit and The Heartbreak Kid), and actress Amy Stiller.

He is best known for his recurring role as Frank Costanza on the television series Seinfeld and his starring role as Arthur Spooner on the television series The King of Queens.

Contents

Personal life

The oldest of four children,[1] Stiller was born in Brooklyn, New York City, the son of Bella (née Citrin) and William Stiller, a bus driver.[2] His paternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants and his maternal grandparents were Russian Jews. He attended Surprise Lake Camp in Cold Spring, NY.[3] A drama major at Syracuse University, he gained a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Drama. He is a brother of Tau Delta Phi fraternity, Tau Zeta chapter.

Stiller has two grandchildren (both of them are from his son, Ben, with actress Christine Taylor): Ella Olivia Stiller (b. April 10, 2002) and Quinlin Dempsey Stiller (b. July 10, 2005).

Stiller and Meara

The comedy team Stiller and Meara, composed of Stiller and wife Anne Meara, was successful in the 1960s and 1970s, with numerous appearances on television variety programs such as The Ed Sullivan Show. Their career declined as variety series gradually disappeared, but they subsequently forged a career in radio commercials, notably the campaign for Blue Nun wine. They also starred in their own syndicated five-minute sketch comedy show Take Five with Stiller and Meara, in 1977-78. The duo's own 1986 TV sitcom, The Stiller and Meara Show, in which Stiller played the deputy mayor of New York City and Meara portrayed his wife, a TV commercial actress, was unsuccessful.

Resurgence

Seinfeld

Jerry Stiller played the short-tempered Frank Costanza, the father of George Costanza in the sitcom Seinfeld from 1993 to 1998. He was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 1997 and won the American Comedy Award for Funniest Male Guest Appearance in a TV Series for his portrayal of Frank Costanza.

King of Queens

After Seinfeld's run ended, Stiller had planned on retiring, but Kevin James requested him to join the cast of King of Queens. Kevin James, who played the leading role of Doug Heffernan, had told Stiller that he needed him in order to have a successful show[citation needed]. Stiller obliged, and played the role of Arthur Spooner, the always scheming father of Carrie Heffernan in the situation comedy The King of Queens from 1998 until 2007. Stiller has said this role tested his acting ability more than any others have, and that before being a part of King of Queens, he only saw himself as a "decent actor".

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Miscellaneous

Stiller played himself in filmed skits, opening and closing Canadian rock band Rush's 30th Anniversary Tour concerts in 2004. These appearances are seen on the band's DVD R30 Live In Frankfurt, released in 2005. Stiller later appeared in cameos in later in-concert films for the band's 2008 Snakes & Arrows Tour.

Stiller is a martial arts enthusiast and has hosted the Kumite three times. He also routinely attends UFC events and can be seen in many backstage segments.

In the late 1990s Stiller appeared in a series of Nike television commercials as deceased Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi, which were removed after the Lombardi family members disapproved.

On February 9, 2007, he and his wife were honored with a joint star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

As author

Stiller wrote the foreword to the book Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us (ISBN 0-446-69674-9) by Allen Salkin, released on October 26, 2005.

His memoir, Married to Laughter: A Love Story Featuring Anne Meara, was published in 2000.

Filmography

Short Subjects

See also

References

External links


Jerry Stiller
Born Gerald Isaac Stiller
June 8, 1927 (1927-06-08) (age 83)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Spouse Anne Meara
(1954–present)

Gerald Isaac "Jerry" Stiller (born June 8, 1927) is an American comedian and actor.

He spent many years in the comedy team Stiller and Meara with his wife Anne Meara. Stiller and Meara are the parents of actor Ben Stiller (with whom he co-starred in the movies Zoolander, Heavyweights, Hot Pursuit and The Heartbreak Kid), and actress Amy Stiller.

He is best known for his recurring role as Frank Costanza on the television series Seinfeld and his starring role as Arthur Spooner on the television series The King of Queens.

Contents

Personal life

The oldest of four children,[1] Stiller was born in Brooklyn, New York City, the son of Bella (née Citrin) and William Stiller, a bus driver.[2] His paternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants and his maternal grandparents were Russian Jews.[3] He attended Surprise Lake Camp in Cold Spring, NY.[4] and Seward Park High School.[5] A drama major at Syracuse University, he gained a Bachelor's degree in Speech and Drama in 1950. He is a brother of Tau Delta Phi fraternity, Tau Zeta chapter.

Stiller has two grandchildren (both of them are from his son, Ben, with actress Christine Taylor): Ella Olivia Stiller (b. April 10, 2002) and Quinlin Dempsey Stiller (b. July 10, 2005).

Stiller and Meara

The comedy team Stiller and Meara, composed of Stiller and wife Anne Meara, was successful in the 1960s and 1970s, with numerous appearances on television variety programs such as The Ed Sullivan Show. Their career declined as variety series gradually disappeared, but they subsequently forged a career in radio commercials, notably the campaign for Blue Nun wine. They also starred in their own syndicated five-minute sketch comedy show Take Five with Stiller and Meara, in 1977-78. From 1979 to 1982 Stiller and Meara hosted HBO Sneak Previews, a half-hour show produced monthly on which they described the movies and programs to be featured in the coming month.[6] They would also do a few brief comedy sketches between show discussions. The duo's own 1986 TV sitcom, The Stiller and Meara Show, in which Stiller played the deputy mayor of New York City and Meara portrayed his wife, a TV commercial actress, was unsuccessful.

Resurgence

Seinfeld

Jerry Stiller played the short-tempered Frank Costanza, the father of George Costanza in the sitcom Seinfeld from 1993 to 1998. He was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 1997 and won the American Comedy Award for Funniest Male Guest Appearance in a TV Series for his portrayal of Frank Costanza.

The King of Queens

After Seinfeld's run ended, Stiller had planned on retiring, but Kevin James requested him to join the cast of The King of Queens. Kevin James, who played the leading role of Doug Heffernan, had told Stiller that he needed him in order to have a successful show[citation needed]. Stiller obliged, and played the role of Arthur Spooner, the always scheming father of Carrie Heffernan in the situational comedy The King of Queens from 1998 until 2007. Stiller has said this role tested his acting ability more than any others have and that, before being a part of King of Queens, he only saw himself as a "decent actor".

Miscellaneous

Stiller played himself in filmed skits, opening and closing Canadian rock band Rush's 30th Anniversary Tour concerts in 2004. These appearances are seen on the band's DVD R30 Live In Frankfurt, released in 2005. Stiller later appeared in cameos in later in-concert films for the band's 2008 Snakes & Arrows Tour.

Stiller is a martial arts enthusiast and has hosted the Kumite three times. He also routinely attends UFC events and can be seen in many backstage segments.

In the late 1990s Stiller appeared in a series of Nike television commercials as deceased Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi, which were removed after the Lombardi family members disapproved.

On February 9, 2007, he and his wife were honored with a joint star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Stiller and his wife will star in a Yahoo! web series produced by their son Ben Stiller. The show will be launched by the end of the year (2010).[7]

As author

Stiller wrote the foreword to the book Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us (ISBN 0-446-69674-9) by Allen Salkin, released on October 26, 2005.

His memoir, Married to Laughter: A Love Story Featuring Anne Meara, was published in 2000.

Filmography

Short Subjects

See also

References

External links


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