After hearing the news of Jerry Stiller’s passing, celebs like Josh Gad and ‘King of Queens’ co-star Leah Remini mourned the death of the beloved funnyman.
The world awoke on May 11 to the devastating news that Jerry Stiller, an icon in comedy, had died at age 92. After Jerry’s son Ben Stiller revealed that the comedian had “passed away from natural causes,” the tributes from celebs who knew and loved him started flowing in. “I was lucky enough to work with Jerry Stiller,” wrote Leah Remini, “playing his daughter for 9 years on The King Of Queens, but even luckier to know him, the man, the husband, the father, the grandfather. I am only comforted knowing that Anne & Jerry, the great comedy duo of Stiller & Meara are back together. I will be forever grateful for the memories, the fatherly talks off-screen, and for the many years of laughter, the kindness he had shown to me and my family…You will be so very missed, Jerry. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Amy & Ben.
“Sorry for your loss, Ben,” tweeted Ricky Gervais in response to Ben’s tweet. “Sending you love, Ben,” added Lin-Manuel Miranda. “What a giant. So grateful for him, and Anne, and you.” Hank Azaria, who starred alongside Ben in multiple films, wrote, “He was a lovely man – always so kind to me. Condolences Ben.” “My heart goes out to [Ben Stiller] & his entire family on this very difficult loss,” tweeted Josh Gad. “Thank you, Jerry, for your brilliant comedic prowess. There was nobody who quite turned a phrase like #JerryStiller & few who got to create a holiday iconically linked to them. Happy eternal Festivus.”
Kevin Smith, the filmmaker behind the Clerks and Jay & Silent Bob franchise, chimed in. “I was aware of Jerry Stiller from a young age because my Dad loved the comedy team, Stiller & Meara. But I met them both after Carlin died, at a [New York Public Library] event where friends eulogized George. They were the funniest presenters of the night. So sad about his loss but what an epic life! Fellow comedian (and podcaster extraordinaire) Doug Benson tweeted his condolences while referencing one of Jerry’s more memorable contributions to Seinfeld. “It’s going to be a sad Festivus this year. RIP Jerry Stiller.”
Most of social media was filled with memories of Jerry and fans reciting some of his more famous quotes from Seinfeld (“Serenity Now!”) The public outpouring came as soon as Ben broke the news. “I’m sad to say that my father…passed away from natural causes,” he tweeted in the early hours of May 11, breaking the news of his father’s death. “He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne [Meara] for about 62 years. He will be greatly missed. Love you, Dad.”
My heart goes out to @RedHourBen & his entire family on this very difficult loss. Thank you Jerry for your brilliant comedic prowess. There was nobody who quite turned a phrase like #JerryStiller & few who got to create a holiday iconically linked to them. Happy eternal Festivus https://t.co/qDb9fFvrHB
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) May 11, 2020
I was aware of Jerry Stiller from a young age because my Dad loved the comedy team Stiller & Meara. But I met them both after Carlin died, at a @nypl event where friends eulogized George. They were the funniest presenters of the night. So sad about his loss but what an epic life! https://t.co/DNlORbEeNz
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) May 11, 2020
Though best known for his roles as the cantankerous Frank Costanza on Seinfeld and the even grumpier Arthur Spooner on The King of Queens, Jerry was a classically trained actor whose career began decades before. Jerry first met fellow struggling-actor, Anne Meara, in 1953, and they wed soon after, per The New York Times. However, it would be their professional partnership that brought them fame and fortune. After working together with the Compass Players, the improv theater group that would evolve into the Second City, they broke out on their own as a duo. After playing to New York nightclubs in 1961, they found themselves on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first of about three dozen appearances.
Jerry and Anne would appear on numerous television variety programs before transitioning to a successful career doing commercials for radio. They would ultimately go their separate ways, professionally, but remained happily married until Anne’s death in 2015. They would have two kids together, who would follow into the family business: Ben and Amy Stiller (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Inside Amy Schumer.)
Though known for his television work, Jerry had a prolific career. H had noteworthy roles in films like John Water’s Hairspray, Heavyweights, Highway To Hell, and Airport 1975. Fans would also see him pop up on television shows like Law & Order, Sex & The City, The Good Wife, The Love Boat, and Tales From The Dark Side. Additionally, Jerry had a memorable role in his son’s films Zoolander and Zoolander 2. In fact, Jerry’s last credited role on IMDB is that of Maury in the television movie Zoolander: Super Model.