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Anne Meara (born September 20, 1929) is an American comedian and actress. She and Jerry Stiller are the parents of actor/comedian Ben and actress Amy Stiller, and were a prominent 1960s comedy team, appearing as Stiller and Meara.

Biography

Personal life
Meara was born in Queens, New York, the daughter of Mary (née Dempsey) and Edward Joseph Meara,[1] Irish-born immigrants from a village called Toomevara. Her mother committed suicide when Meara was 11, and she has been in therapy since the mid-1980s. Meara was raised Catholic, but converted to Judaism six years after marrying Stiller.[2] She has long stressed that she did not convert at Stiller's request, but because "Catholicism was dead to me", and she simply came to prefer the more "lively" character of Jewish culture. She took the conversion seriously and studied the faith in such depth that her Jewish-born husband quipped, "Being married to Anne has made me more Jewish."


Career
Meara has been married to Stiller since 1954. Both were members of the improvisational company The Compass Players (which later became The Second City), and the pair, as the comedy team Stiller and Meara, brought many of their real-life relationship foibles to bear on their often-improvised comedy routines. After some years honing the act, Stiller and Meara became regulars on The Ed Sullivan Show and other TV programs.

During the 1970s, Meara and Stiller wrote and performed many radio commercials together for Blue Nun Wine.

Meara costarred with Carroll O'Connor and Martin Balsam in early 1980s hit sit-com Archie Bunker's Place, which was a continuation of the influential 1970s sitcom All in the Family. She played the role of Veronica Rooney, who was the barís cook, for the show's first three seasons (1979-1982). She also appeared as the grandmother in the TV series ALF in the late 1980s. Their career declined, however, as variety series gradually disappeared. Her own 1986 TV sitcom, The Stiller and Meara Show, in which Stiller played the deputy mayor of New York City and Meara portrayed his wife, a TV commercial actress, was unsuccessful. More recently, she has had recurring roles on the television shows Sex and the City (as Mary Brady) and The King of Queens (as Veronica). In the 2004-'05 season, she appeared in an episode of Law and Order SVU.

She is the consulting director of J.A.P. - The Jewish American Princesses of Comedy, a 2007 Off-Broadway production that features live stand-up routines by four female Jewish comics juxtaposed with the stories of legendary performers from the 1950s and 1960s: Totie Fields, Jean Carroll, Pearl Williams, Betty Walker and Belle Barth.


Filmography
The Out-of-Towners (1970)
Lovers and Other Strangers (1970)
Irish Whiskey Rebellion (1972)
Nasty Habits (1977)
The Boys from Brazil (1978)
Fame (1980)
In Our Hands (1984) (documentary)
The Longshot (1986)
The Perils of P.K. (1986)
My Little Girl (1987)
That's Adequate (1989)
Awakenings (1990)
Through an Open Window (1992) (short subject)
Highway to Hell (1992)
So You Want to Be an Actor (1993) (short subject)
Reality Bites (1994)
The Search for One-Eye Jimmy (1994)
Heavyweights (1995)
Kiss of Death (1995)
The Daytrippers (1996)
The Thin Pink Line (1998)
Southie (1998)
The Diary of the Hurdy-Gurdy Man (1999)
Judy Berlin (1999)
Brooklyn Thrill Killers (1999) (short subject)
A Fish in the Bathtub (1999)
Amy Stiller's Breast (2000) (short subject)
The Independent (2000)
Zoolander (2001)
Keeping It Real: The Adventures of Greg Walloch (2001) (documentary)
Get Well Soon (2001)
Like Mike (2002)
The Yard Sale (2002) (short subject)
Crooked Lines (2003)
Chump Change (2004)
Night at the Museum (2006)

Upcoming
The Mirror (2007)
Sex & The City (2008)

Television Work
The Greatest Gift (1954-1955)
Ninotchka (1960)
Dames at Sea (1971)
The Paul Lynde Show (1972-1973)
The Corner Bar (cast member in 1973)
Kate McShane (1975) (canceled after 10 episodes)
Rhoda (cast member from 1976-1977)
Archie Bunker's Place (cast member from 1979-1982)
The Other Woman (1983)
The Stiller & Meara Show (1986) (canceled after a few weeks)
The Day They Came to Arrest the Book (1987)
Murder She Wrote (1988) (guest appearance)
Avenue Z Afternoon (1991)
The Sunset Gang (1991)
All My Children (cast member from 1992-1999)
Love Off Limits (1993)
The Mother (1994)
Jitters (1997)
What Makes a Family (2001)
Sex and the City (2002-2004)
The King Of Queens (1998, 2003-2007)
Oz (appeared in 2 episodes in 1999 & 2002)

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