Hollywood is in mourning this week after the death of legendary comedian Jerry Stiller, who was best known for his roles on “Seinfeld” and “The King of Queens.” Stiller’s death was confirmed by his son Ben Stiller, who said he passed away of natural causes at the age of 92.
“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,” his son wrote on Twitter.
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
Fox News reported that Stiller kicked off his career alongside his wife Anne Meara in the 1950s, when they were one of the top comedy acts in the country, appearing on “The Ed Sullivan Show” an impressive 36 times.
It was not until the 1990s that Stiller found his greatest success playing the high strung father of George Constanza on the iconic sitcom “Seinfeld.” His best moments include his famous Festivus celebration and his catchphrase “Serenity now!” Stiller earned an Emmy nomination in 1997 for his work on the series.
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The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances. If you got a problem with someone, tag them and let them hear about it! #HappyFestivus #Festivus #FestivusForTheRestOfUs #FestivusMiracle #AiringOfGrievances #FeatsOfStrength #FrankCostanza #GeorgeCostanza #Seinfeld #LetsRumble #StopCryingAndPinYourFather
Stiller later said that he had not been the first choice to play Frank Costanza in “Seinfeld.”
“My manager had retired,” he said. “I was close to 70 years old, and had nowhere to go.”
When “Seinfeld” came to an end, Stiller played the father of Leah Remini’s character, Carrie Heffernan in the sitcom “The King of Queens,” which aired from 1998 to 2007. In 2001, he also starred in the hit movie Zoolander, which his son starred in and directed.
The son of a bus driver and a housewife, Stiller grew up in Brooklyn during the Great Depression before he served in World War II. His dream had been to appear in movies ever since he was 8 years-old, when his father brought him to see the Marx Brothers in the comedy classic A Night at the Opera.
Stiller was much more quiet and reflective behind the scenes, but his family and friends said he was just as funny offscreen as he was on it. He was married to his wife Anne for almost 61 years before her death in 2015, and he is survived by their two children. Rest in peace, Jerry Stiller!