Actor and comedian Jerry Stiller, Ben Stiller’s father, has died at the age of 92. He was most well-known for his roles in Seinfeld and The King of Queens, and he also starred in many movies alongside his son.
Ben Stiller announced his father’s death on Twitter, writing, “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.”
Jerry Stiller had a long career on both the stage and the screen, and he was often accompanied by his wife, Anne Meara, or one of his children. He and Meara performed a popular comedy act together.
Here’s what you should know about Jerry Stiller’s children and family:
1. He Was The Oldest of Four Children
Stiller was born on June 8, 1927, in Brooklyn to parents Bella and William Stiller. His father worked as a bus driver. The family lived in the Williamsburg and East New York neighborhoods and then moved to the Lower East Side, where Jerry Stiller attended high school.
His three siblings are Maxine, Doreen and Arnold Stiller. Doreen and Arnold have both appeared in films, though Maxine, who was born 18 years after Jerry, has not had any roles.
Arnold “Arnie” Stiller’s only credited role on IMDb is as “Pie Diner” in Ben Stiller’s 2007 film The Heartbreak Kid, and Doreen was Charlie’s sister in the film Cousins.
In 2007, Jerry told Esquire about his childhood. His father didn’t think he was good enough to be an actor, so he told him, “If you’re going into show business, be a stagehand. At least you’ll work every night.”
2. Jerry Stiller’s Daughter, Amy, Is Also an Actress
Ben Stiller is not the only one in the family who followed their parents into the world of comedy, acting and Hollywood. Amy Stiller, Jerry’s eldest child, is also an actress.
Amy was born to Jerry and Anne on September 8, 1961. Her IMDb page says she is both an actress and a writer, and she most recently appeared in TV series Love Life, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Divorce. Previously, she appeared alongside her brother and father in Zoolander and Zoolander 2.
Amy also appeared on seven episodes of the hit show The King of Queens, which starred Jerry Stiller. She played three roles between the years of 1999 and 2007: Gloria, Sylvia and Cheryl. Her first TV or film credit dates all the way back to 1970, when she played the Flower Girl in Lovers and Other Strangers. She would have been around 9 years old at the time.
3. Ben Stiller is Jerry’s Only Son
Ben Stiller is Jerry Stiller’s only son. Jerry told Esquire in 2007 that his children both came early, and he hadn’t been present at either birth.
He and Meara later made sure one of the parents would always be home with the children. When they finally had to leave together to do an episode of Archie Bunker’s Place, Jerry said they got a call from Ben on set, and he told them, “Dad, I took acid. I’m never gonna be the same.”
Jerry said that when his own father died, he didn’t want Ben to come in from California for the funeral because he was worried it’d cause fatigue since Ben was finishing up a movie.
“But Ben was there with Amy,” he said. “He flew in on the red-eye. He did everything I never did. Figure that one out.”
4. He Was a Grandfather to Two
Ben Stiller has two children with ex-wife Christine Stiller: Ella Olivia Stiller and Quinlin Dempsey Stiller. They are both teenagers, and Stiller told Good Morning America in 2019 that they hadn’t watched much of their father’s work.
“They’ve seen one of my movies,” the star said. “Night at the museum.”
He said that he always made it their choice whether they wanted to watch a movie because he didn’t want to be the parent begging their children to watch their work. Jerry Stiller was the same way when it came to his family watching his work. He told Esquire he never asked his children if they’d watched his work on Seinfeld.
“I never want them to think that my life is more important than they are,” he said.
5. His Wife Died in 2015
It has been nearly five years since the death of Jerry Stiller’s wife, Anne Meara. They were married for 61 years prior to her death.
Together, the couple made up the popular husband-and-wife comedy duo Stiller and Meara, which was popular in the 1960s and 1970s. They were also regulars on the Ed Sullivan Show and had met at a casting agent’s office in the mid-1950s.
Meara died at the age of 85 due to natural causes.