5 essential movies and TV shows to remember Jerry Stiller



Legendary comedian and actor Jerry Stiller has passed away at the age of 92.

The star’s son, Ben Stiller, confirmed the news on Twitter, letting the world know his father had died of “natural causes.”

“He was a greatfather and a grandfather, and Anne’s most devoted husband for about 62 years. He will be sorely missed. I love you daddy,” Ben Stiller tweeted.

I am sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, died of natural causes. He was a greatfather and grandfather, and Anne’s most devoted husband for about 62 years. He will be sorely missed. I love you dad. pic.twitter.com/KyoNsJIBz5

– Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) May 11, 2020

Born Gerald Isaac Stiller, Jerry Stiller is perhaps best known for playing Frank Constanza in a longtime sitcom Seinfeld. Still, Stiller rose to prominence in the entertainment industry in the 1960s and 1970s as part of the comedy duo Stiller and Meara with his late wife, Anne Meara.

Stiller then played another TV dad, Arthur Spooner, on the CBS sitcom. The king of queens and is known for his appearances in a number of films alongside his actual son such as Zoolander and Heavyweight.

Stiller’s comic legacy will continue through his extensive filmography. Here are some essential TV shows and movies to remember him.

Stiller and Meara

1979: Portrait of married comedians Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller sitting on a living room sofa and resting their heads together.
Nancy R. Schiff / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

As one half of the popular comedy duo husband and wife, Stiller and Meara have made frequent appearances on the comedy circuit at nightclubs and on variety shows like The Ed Sullivan Show.

They starred in their own TV series, The Stiller and Meara Show in 1986 in which Stiller played the role of Deputy Mayor of New York City while his wife played a television commercial actress.

The couple were married for 61 years until Meara passed away in 2015.

Hair spray

Divine and Jerry Stiller
Divine stands next to Jerry Stiller in a scene from the 1988 movie “Hairspray”. Stiller then played a small role in the 2007 remake of Hairspray.
New cinema line / Getty Images

Based on the beloved Broadway musical of the same name, Stiller starred in the cult 1988 screen adaptation of Hair spray, written and directed by John Waters. He played the protagonist’s father, Wilbur Turnblad.

The film saw him play alongside the legendary drag queen Divine, who played his wife Edna Turnblad. Stiller then played fashion designer Mr. Pinky in the 2007 remake of Hair spray.


Jerry Stiller, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards
Jerry Stiller, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards at a “Seinfeld” event in 2004. Stiller played George Constanza’s father, Frank.
Carley Margolis / FilmMagic / Getty

Probably Stiller’s most ubiquitous role among TV fans of a certain age, Seinfeld rebooted Stiller’s career in the 1990s playing George Constanza’s irritable father, Frank.

The character is credited with creating the oft-referenced Festivus, an alternative party to the allegedly commercialized Christmas. Stiller won a 1997 Emmy nomination for performance.

The king of queens

Leah Remini and actors Kevin James and Jerry Stiller
(LR) Actress Leah Remini and actors Kevin James and Jerry Stiller attend the “King of Queens” party celebrating the series’ 200th episode at Sony Studios on January 25, 2007 in Culver City, California. The show ended in 2018.
Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Playing the living father in the basement of Leah Remini’s character, Carrie on The king of queens, Stiller has played in all nine seasons.

His character, Arthur Spooner, married a character played by his real wife in the series’ touching finale.


Ben Stiller wearing a headband in a scene from the 2001 film ‘Zoolander’. His father Jerry, made appearances in both Zoolander films.
Paramount / Getty Images

In 2001, Stiller made an appearance in what is now his son Ben’s comedy classic. Zoolander like Maury Ballstein, Derek Zoolander’s deceitful agent.

He also returned to star in the 2016 sequel.

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