There are performers and then there is Jerry Stiller. The classically trained actor and comedian, passed away on Monday at the age of 92 from natural causes. His son, Ben Stiller, announced the news on Twitter.
“I’m sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, passed away from natural causes. He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years. He will be greatly missed. Love you Dad,” Ben Stiller wrote.
I’m sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, passed away from natural causes. He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years. He will be greatly missed. Love you Dad. pic.twitter.com/KyoNsJIBz5
— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) May 11, 2020
Jerry Stiller first found success in the 1960s working with his wife, Anne Meara, as part of the comedy duo Stiller and Meara. He starred on Seinfeld as George’s angry father Frank Costanza. Stiller was a fixture on Broadway, playing the clowns in Shakespeare plays. He appeared in iconic films like The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three and also thrived as a comedian making regular appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show with Anne Meara. In 2007, the duo was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. Stiller and Meara were the fourth married couple in history to receive a joint star.
Born in Brooklyn, Gerald Isaac Stiller was the son of Polish immigrants. He served in the Army and then went to Syracuse University under the G.I. Bill where he studied Shakespeare and Greek tragedy. He has worked steadily ever since. As he once told The Daily News, “I’ve never thought of stopping. The only time you ever stop working is when they don’t call you.”
In 2012, at the Made In NY Awards, Ben and his sister Amy Stiller were presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to their parents, when Ben kidded about what his father said to him during his bar mitzvah. “He leaned over and said, ‘today you become a man.’ And also, ‘there’s a lot of industry here. Don’t bomb.’”
Then Ben added, “You’ve had an incredible career. You keep going and going. More than anything it’s the example that you set for us to be as people. That is such a huge thing to live up to, because you are the most loved people I know. And we love you very much.”
As soon as the news of Jerry Stiller’s death broke, stars flooded social media with tributes and memorials, here are some of our favorites:
Captain’s Log Stardate 54: As we begin a new week it is sad to hear about the passing of Jerry Stiller; a comedic genius, fellow actor & friend. He will be missed. Condolences to his family.
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) May 11, 2020
Such sad news that my beloved friend, Jerry Stiller, has passed. He was perhaps the kindest man I ever had the honor to work beside. He made me laugh when I was a child and every day I was with him. A great actor, a great man, a lovely friend. #RIPJerryStiller I Love you.
— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) May 11, 2020
I remember seeing #JerryStiller as half of #stillerandmeara on Ed Sullivan. I loved him as Lt. Rico Patrone in Taking Of Pelham 123 and got to meet him during my stint on @SeinfeldTV as #frankcostanza. #ripjerrystiller at 92 pic.twitter.com/ym2XLCsbT4
— Al Roker (@alroker) May 11, 2020