Happy Birthday Jerry Stiller: Remembering the TV Icon and WWII Veteran on His Would-Be 94th

by Brandi Stillings
Photo by Mike Coppola/WireImage

In honor of his birthday, we pay tribute to the legendary actor and comedian Jerry Stiller. Born on June 8, 1927, the former “The King of Queens” star originally came from Brooklyn, New York. Today, he would’ve been 94 years old.

In the 1960s, Stiller and wife Anne Meara played the perfect counterparts on “Stiller & Meara” – a famous comedy TV show. Not only were the husband-and-wife team on top of their game, but they also appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” 36 times, per IMDb. They were married for over 60 years, until his wife’s death in 2015.

After starring in the comedy duo act for several years, Stiller didn’t make a comeback until decades later.

Legendary Actor Jerry Stiller Reinvents His Career Later in Life

It wasn’t until the 1990s when Stiller finally made his comeback. He reintroduced his career as George Costanza’s (played Jason Alexander) father Frank on the classic sitcom “Seinfeld.” From 1993 to 1998, he remained on the show as a prominent reoccurring part.

Stiller won an American Comedy Award for “Funniest Male Guest Appearance in a TV Series” for portraying his character Frank. He was nominated for an Emmy as well.

Following “Seinfeld,” Stiller went on to be the bazaar character Arthur Spooner on “The King of Queens.” His role on the popular CBS comedy series also gave him widespread acclaim and recognition.

His Famous Family; Actors Ben & Amy Stiller

In addition to all his acting success, Stiller is the father of Hollywood A-lister Ben Stiller. The father and son team appeared together on well-known films. They include hit movies such as “Zoolander,” “Heavyweights,” “Hot Pursuit,” “The Heartbreak Kid,” and “Zoolander 2.” He also performed voice-over work for animated productions: “The Lion King 1-1/2” and the more recent “Planes: Fire & Rescue.”

Jerry worked with his daughter Amy Stiller, who’s also a thriving actress. According to IMDb, he and Amy wrote, performed and produced award-winning radio commercials together for such products as Blue Nun Wine, United Van Lines and Amalgamated Bank, among others.

Although his career didn’t take off until later, Stiller will always be remembered for his roles. He died of natural causes on May 11, 2020.