Stiller was well known for his roles on the hit TV shows Seinfeld and The King of Queens.
His career, which spanned decades, also included a long list of roles on stage and in hit movies like Zoolander, in which he worked alongside his son ben.
Jerry Stiller’s acting was anything but serene.
Best known as George Costanza’s dad, Frank, on Seinfeld, millions of people also knew him as Arthur Spooner on the TV series The King of Queens, a role he played for nearly a decade.
Famous for playing father figures, Stiller credits his own father for inspiring his career.
“I’m my father,” he once said. “Of course he doesn’t realize this but everything I’ve taken in my life is my father. I said, ‘What it is in life that you want to do instead of driving a bus?’ He says, ‘I wanted to be an actor.’ And the shock hit me!”
Born in 1927, the funny man met his match and married Anne Meara in September 1954.
The two started a husband and wife comedy duo peaking during the 1960s and ’70s. They performed on a handful of variety programs such as The Ed Sullivan Show.
As the variety series gradually faded their success declined but unlike many Hollywood actors, Jerry Stiller said he’d had a blessed personal life. “Anne and I have been lucky,” he said. “We have two beautiful kids. You know? And we love the work. The work is to hear people laugh is what fills me, keeps me going.”
The couple’s two children, Ben and Amy also followed with careers in Hollywood. And when Ben Stiller was still making a name for himself, he was better known as “Jerry’s son.”
In 2001, father and son even went on to collaborate in the blockbuster hit Zoolander. But it’s his work on Seinfeld that Jerry called “life changing,” a job that he initially turned down. “I got the call that they wanted me on Seinfeld,” he explained, “and I turned them down because Tony wanted me for Three Men on a Horse, and that’s typical of my life.”
Stiller’s son, actor Ben Stiller, wrote on Twitter that his father died of natural causes.