5 Essential Movies and TV Shows to Remember Jerry Stiller

Legendary comedian and actor Jerry Stiller has passed away at the age of 92.

The star's son Ben Stiller confirmed the news on Twitter, informing the world his father died of "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 tweeted.

Born Gerald Isaac Stiller, Jerry Stiller is perhaps best known for playing Frank Constanza on long-running sitcom Seinfeld. Yet Stiller rose to prominence in the entertainment industry in the 1960s and 1970s as part of comedy duo Stiller and Meara with his late wife, Anne Meara.

Stiller later played another TV dad, Arthur Spooner, on CBS sitcom The King of Queens and is noted for his appearances in a number of films alongside his real-life son such as Zoolander and Heavyweights.

Stiller's comedic legacy will live on through his extensive filmography. Here are some essential TV shows and movies to remember him by.

Stiller and Meara

Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller
1979: Portrait of married comedic actors Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller sitting on a living room sofa and posing with their heads together. Nancy R. Schiff/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

As one half of the popular husband and wife comedy duo, Stiller and Meara made frequent appearances on the comedy circuit in nightclubs and on variety shows like The Ed Sullivan Show.

They starred in their own TV series, The Stiller & Meara Show in 1986 in which Stiller starred as the deputy mayor of New York while his wife played a TV commercial actress.

The couple were married for 61 years until Meara passed away in 2015.


Divine and Jerry Stiller
Divine stands next to Jerry Stiller in a scene from the film 'Hairspray', 1988. Stiller later played a small role in the 2007 remake of Hairspray. New Line Cinema/Getty Images

Based on the beloved Broadway musical of the same name, Stiller starred in the 1988 cult screen adaptation of Hairspray, written and directed by John Waters. He played the protagonist's father, Wilbur Turnblad.

The movie saw him star opposite legendary drag queen Divine, who played his wife Edna Turnblad. Stiller later played dressmaker Mr. Pinky in the 2007 remake of Hairspray.


Jerry Stiller, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards
Jerry Stiller, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards at a 'Seinfeld' event in 2004. Stiller played George Constanza's father, Frank. Carley Margolis/FilmMagic/Getty

Probably Stiller's most ubiquitous role among television fans of a certain age, Seinfeld rebooted Stiller's career in the 1990s as he embodied George Constanza's irritable father, Frank.

The character is credited with creating the oft-referenced Festivus—an alternative holiday to the supposedly commercialized Christmas. Stiller earned a 1997 Emmy nomination for the performance.

The King of Queens

Leah Remini and actors Kevin James and Jerry Stiller
(L-R) Actress Leah Remini and actors Kevin James and Jerry Stiller attend the 'King of Queens' party celebrating the show's 200th episode at Sony Studios on January 25, 2007 in Culver City, California. The show ended in 2018. Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Playing the basement-living father of Leah Remini's character Carrie on The King of Queens, Stiller starred in all nine seasons.

His character, Arthur Spooner, married a character played by his real-life wife in the touching series finale.


Ben Stiller wearing a headband in a scene from the film 'Zoolander', 2001. His father Jerry, made appearances in both Zoolander movies. Paramount Pictures/Getty Images

In 2001, Stiller made an appearance in what is now his son Ben's comedy classic Zoolander as Maury Ballstein, Derek Zoolander's duplicitous agent.

He also returned to star in the 2016 sequel.

5 Essential Movies and TV Shows to Remember Jerry Stiller | Culture