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Jerry Stiller (born June 8, 1927) is an American Emmy Award-Nominated comedian and actor. He spent many years in the comedy team Stiller and Meara with his wife Anne Meara. Stiller and Meara are the parents of actor Ben Stiller (with whom he co-starred in the movies Zoolander, Heavyweights, Hot Pursuit, and The Heartbreak Kid), and actress Amy Stiller. He is best known for his roles as Arthur Spooner on The King of Queens and Frank Costanza on Seinfeld.

Biography

Personal life

One of four children, was born Gerald Stiller in New York City, the son of Bella (née Citrin) and William Stiller, a bus driver.[1] His paternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants and his maternal grandparents were Russian Jews. A drama major at Syracuse University, he gained a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Drama. He is a brother of Tau Delta Phi fraternity, Tau Zeta chapter.

Stiller has two grandchildren (both of them are from his son, Ben, with actress Christine Taylor): Ella Olivia Stiller (b. April 10, 2002) and Quinlin Dempsey Stiller (b. July 10, 2005).

Stiller and Meara

The comedy team Stiller and Meara, comprised of Stiller and wife Anne Meara, was extremely successful in the 1960s and 1970s, with numerous appearances on television variety programs such as The Ed Sullivan Show. Their career declined, however, as variety series gradually disappeared. The duo's 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.

Resurgence

Seinfeld

Beginning in the 1990s his career experienced a resurgence with a recurring role as George Costanza's father Frank in the situation comedy Seinfeld from 1993 to 1998.

King of Queens

After Seinfeld's run ended, Stiller had planned on retiring, but was convinced by Kevin James after endless begging to join King of Queens. Kevin James, who played the leading role of Doug Heffernan, had told Stiller that he needed him in order to have a successful show[citation needed]. Stiller obliged, and played the role of Arthur Spooner, the semi-psychotic, always scheming father of Carrie Heffernan in the situation comedy The King of Queens from 1998 until 2007. Stiller has said this role tested his acting ability more than any others have, and that before being a part of King of Queens, he only saw himself as a "decent actor".

In the late 1990s Stiller appeared in a series of Nike television commercials as Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi. Which were removed after the Lombardi family members disapproved.

On February 9, 2007, he and his wife were honored with a joint star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Miscellaneous

Stiller played himself in filmed skits, opening and closing Canadian rock band Rush's 30th Anniversary Tour concerts in 2004. These appearances are seen on the band's DVD R30 Live In Frankfurt, released in 2005. Stiller later appeared in cameos in later in-concert films for the Canadian band's 2008 Snakes & Arrows Live tour.


As author
Stiller wrote the foreword to the book Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us (ISBN 0-446-69674-9) by Allen Salkin, released on October 26, 2005.

His memoir Married to Laughter: A Love Story Featuring Anne Meara was published in 2000.

Filmography
Lovers and Other Strangers (1970) as Jim (Carol's Father) (uncredited)
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) as Lt. Rico Patrone
Airport 1975 (1974) as Sam
Nasty Habits (1977) as P.R. Priest
Those Lips, Those Eyes (1980) as Mr. Shoemaker
Madame X (1981) (made for TV)
The McGuffin (1985) as Marty
Seize the Day (1986) as Dr. Tamkin
Hot Pursuit (1987) as Victor Honeywell
Nadine (1987) as Raymond Escobar
Hairspray (1988) as Wilbur Turnblad
That's Adequate (1989) as Sid Lane
Little Vegas (1990) as Sam
Sweet 15 (1990) as Waterman
Freefall (1992) as Emily's Father
Highway to Hell (1992) as The Desk Cop
Seinfeld (1993-1998) as Frank Costanza
The Pickle (1993) as Phil Hirsch
Heavyweights (1995) as Harvey Bushkin
Camp Stories (1997) as Schlomo
Stag (1997) as Ted
The Deli (1997) as Petey Cheesecake
The King of Queens (1998-2007) as Arthur Spooner
The Suburbans (1999) as Speedo Silverburg
A Fish in the Bathtub (1999) as Sam
Secret of the Andes (1999) as Dr. Golfisch
The Independent (2000) as Monty Fineman
My 5 Wives (2000) as Don Giovanni
Chump Change (2001) as The Colonel
Zoolander (2001) as Maury Ballstein
On the Line (2001) as Nathan
Serving Sara (2002) as Milton the Cop
Teacher's Pet (2004) (voice) as Pretty Boy
The Lion King 1½ (2004) (voice) (direct-to-DVD) as Uncle Max
Hairspray (2007) as Mr. Pinky
The Heartbreak Kid (2007) as Doc

Short Subjects
Shoeshine (1987)
So You Want to Be an Actor (1993)
Amy Stiller's Breast (2000)

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