Ben Stiller isn’t the only funnyman in his family. His father, Jerry Stiller, is also a comedy legend who has delighted stage and screen audiences for decades.
Here are some fun facts about the patriarch of this Hollywood brood (wife Anne and daughter Amy are also actors).
Gerald Isaac Stiller was born June 8, 1927, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Good genes are on his side; his father William, who worked as a New York City cab and bus driver, died in February 1999 at age 102.
As a young man, Stiller fought in World War II. He received a bachelor’s degree in Speech and Drama from Syracuse University in 1950. In 1953, he met Anne Meara, who became his partner in both life and comedy. They married the following year.
Stiller and Meara performed as a comedy duo for decades, appearing in nightclubs and on television programs like “The Ed Sullivan Show.” They also briefly starred in their own sketch comedy show, “Take Five with Stiller and Meara.”
Along the way, they had their two famous children — Amy in 1961 and Ben in 1965.
In 2007, Stiller and Meara received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, becoming only the fourth married couple to accept the honor.
To younger generations, Stiller is perhaps best known for playing Frank Costanza on “Seinfeld.” The character was introduced in season 4, but was first played by actor John Randolph. Stiller replaced Randolph in season 5 and stayed in the role until “Seinfeld” ended its run in 1998.
He was then cast as Arthur Spooner on “The King of Queens” at the insistence of the show’s star, Kevin James. Anne Meara played Veronica Olchin, Spooner’s love interest and eventual wife.
Meara passed away of natural causes on May 23, 2015, at age 85. She and Stiller were married 61 years.