After Ben Stiller revealed on Monday that his dad, Jerry Stiller, had died of natural causes at the age of 92, the legendary comedian’s former co-stars and famous pals took to social media to share their memories and kind words in his honor.
Ben Still tweeted the news on Monday morning by writing that Jerry was “a great dad and grandfather,” and Ben also noted that his Zoolander co-star was “the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years.” Ben said that his dad will be “greatly missed,” and he ended his tweet by simply writing: “Love you Dad.”
— lindsey arlos (@LindseyArlos) May 12, 2020
Ben’s parents – Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara – were a popular comedy team in the 1960s known as “Stiller and Meara.” The duo regularly performed on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Anna Meara died in May 2015 at the age of 85.
Later in his career, Jerry made a comeback on the 1990s sitcom Seinfeld as Frank Costanza, and after that series wrapped he moved on to the role of Arthur Spooner on King of Queens, which he played for nine seasons until the series finale in 2007.
“I was not the first father on Seinfeld. There was another father, whom I replaced,” Jerry told Esquire in 2005. “I was out of work at the time. My manager had retired. I was close to 70 years old and I had nowhere to go. I get this chance on Seinfeld. I hadn’t even seen the show.”
Jerry Stiller was brilliant as Frank Costanza. Festivus & Serenity Now will always be iconic.pic.twitter.com/yAJBMXxYPk
— Karan (@iamkar4n) May 12, 2020
Jerry said that the idea was for him to wear a bald wig so he looked like George and “act very meek” next to the “screamer” Estelle Harris. However, after a couple of days he realized playing the role that way would get him fired like the last guy, so he asked Larry David if he could play the role his way.
Jerry Seinfeld posted a pic of himself holding the Stiller and Meara comedy album Ed Sullivan Presents the Last Two People in the World and wrote in the caption that Jerry Stiller’s comedy will “live forever.”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus shared a Seinfeld blooper with Stiller and wrote that he was “so funny” and a “dear human being.” Jason Alexander wrote that Jerry Stiller was the kindest man he ever had the honor to work beside.
Stiller’s King of Queens co-stars also shared the love. Patton Oswalt tweeted that Jerry was “a for-real comedy legend” and it is humbling to even think about doing scenes with him.
The truth is that this happened all the time with Jerry Stiller. He was so funny and such a dear human being. We loved him. RIP Jerry Stiller.https://t.co/kXL14zMKeX
— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) May 11, 2020
“You were on a Yoda-level of comedic skill — I saw you get a laugh just walking into a kitchen and saying, ‘Hello, Douglas!’” wrote Oswalt.
Kevin James wrote that Stiller was “one of the most kind, loving, and funny people ever to grace this earth,” while Leah Remini posted a throwback pic with her TV dad and wrote that she was lucky enough to play Jerry’s daughter for nine years. She added that she was even luckier to know Stiller as a man, husband, father, and grandfather.
“I am only comforted knowing that Anne & Jerry, the great comedy duo of Stiller & Meara are back together. I will be forever grateful for the memories, the fatherly talks off screen and for the many years of laughter, the kindness he had shown to me and my family … You will be so very missed Jerry,” wrote Remini.