Comedian Jerry Stiller, actor Ben Stiller's father, dies at 92

By Zach Harper

Comedian Jerry Stiller has passed away at age 92, his son, actor Ben Stiller, has announced.

"I'm sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, passed away from natural causes," Ben tweeted on May 11. "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."

Born in 1927, Jerry served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor's degree in Speech and Drama in 1950 and met comedian Anne Meara three years later. The two fell in love, married in 1954 and had two children: Amy and Ben. Jerry and Anne were a successful comedy team dubbed Stiller and Meara throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

The New York Times once called Stiller and Meara's comedy act a "national phenomenon." Photo: © Bettmann

In the '80s, Jerry began appearing regularly on shows such as Saturday Night Live, L.A. Law, Law & Order and even had a stint in the musical Hairspray.

Younger readers will remember Jerry from his years on Seinfeld, on which he played George Costanza's father Frank, who created the fictitious holiday Festivus. In it, members of the Costanza family were made to "air their grievances" about others from the past year around a "festivus pole." It became such a ubiquitous reference that Jerry even wrote the foreword to a book about the make-believe holiday.

In his later years, Jerry was also known for his work on sitcom King of Queens and in the films Zoolander with Ben and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, with Will Ferrell.

Anne, who remained married to Jerry for more than 60 years, passed away in 2015. Jerry is survived by Ben and Amy and two grandchildren.

In this challenging time, it’s really hard to be separated from family and friends. It’s also a time when everyone needs a beautiful escape. Here at Hello! Canada, we’re still busy creating the magazine you know and love, to spread positivity and provide some entertainment as a gentle reprieve from all the hard news. And with our new special offer for subscribers, there’s never been a better time to have Hello! delivered directly to your front door. Why not treat yourself, or someone you love, today?

Don't miss a beat with HELLO! Canada's Daily Hits newsletter, your daily dose of royal and celebrity news, fashion, weddings and more. CLICK HERE to sign up for free!