Jerry Stiller plays Arthur Spooner on the King of Queens series.
|Birthname||Gerald Isaac Stiller|
|Born:||June 8, 1927|
|Birthplace||Brooklyn, New York, U.S.|
|Died:||May 11, 2020(aged 92)|
|Deathplace:||Manhattan, New York, U.S.|
|Occupation||Actor, Comedian, Voice-over artist|
|Family and Personal|
|Spouse(s):||Anne Meara, 1953-2015, her death|
|Related to:||Ben Stiller (son)|
Amy Stiller (daughter)
|Appeared on:||King of Queens|
|Episodes appeared in:||All in series (276, 1998-2007), Seasons 1-9|
|Appears as:||Arthur Spooner|
Jerry Stiller (born Gerald Isaac Stiller June 8, 1927 - died May 11, 2020) is the actor who plays the part of Arthur Spooner on The King of Queens. He also is well known for his role as Frank Costanza on the hit NBC-TV sitcom series Seinfield. His son, comedian/actor Ben Stiller, appeared in an episode in which he played him in a flashback when Arthur was a child. A veteran standup and stage improvisational comedic peformer, Jerry spent many years in the comedy team Stiller and Meara with his wife, veteran comedienne/actress Anne Meara. Stiller and Meara are the parents of comedian-actor Ben Stiller (with whom he co-starred in the movies Zoolander, Heavyweights, Hot Pursuit and The Heartbreak Kid) and actress Amy Stiller.
Career[edit | edit source]
Stiller & Meara act[edit | edit source]
The comedy team Stiller and Meara, composed of Stiller and wife Anne Meara, was successful in the 1960s and 1970s, with numerous appearances on television variety programs such as CBS-TV's The Ed Sullivan Show. Their career declined as variety series gradually disappeared, but they subsequently forged a career in radio commercials, notably the campaign for Blue Nun wine. They also starred in their own syndicated five-minute sketch comedy show Take Five with Stiller and Meara, in 1977–78. From 1979 to 1982, Stiller and Meara hosted HBO Sneak Previews, a half-hour show produced monthly on which they described the movies and programs to be featured in the coming month. They would also do a few brief comedy sketches between show discussions. The duo's own 1986 TV sitcom, The Stiller and Meara Show, in which Stiller played the deputy mayor of New York City and Meara portrayed his wife, a TV commercial actress, was unsuccessful.
Career resurgence with Seinfeld TV series[edit | edit source]
Jerry played the irascible Frank Costanza, the father of George Costanza in the NBC-TV sitcom Seinfeld from 1993 to 1998. He was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 1997 and won the American Comedy Award for Funniest Male Guest Appearance in a TV Series for his portrayal of Frank Costanza.
The King of Queens TV show (1998-2007)[edit | edit source]
After Seinfeld's network run ended, Stiller had planned on retiring, but Kevin James asked him to join the cast of The King of Queens. James, who played the leading role of Doug Heffernan, had told Stiller that he needed him in order to have a successful show. Stiller obliged, accepting the role of Arthur Spooner, the always scheming (and again, irascible) father of Carrie Heffernan in the situation comedy from 1998 until 2007. Stiller has said this role tested his acting ability more than any others have and that, before being a part of King of Queens, he only saw himself as a "decent actor".
Family/Personal life[edit | edit source]
The eldest of four children, Stiller was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Jewish parents, Bella (née Citrin) and William Stiller, a bus driver. He lived in the Williamsburg and East New York eighborhoods before his family moved to the Lower East Side, where he attended Seward Park High School.A drama major at Syracuse University, he gained a Bachelor's degree in Speech and Drama in 1950. In the 1953 Phoenix Theater production of Coriolanus (produced by John Houseman), Jerry (along with Gene Saks and Jack Klugman) formed "the best trio of Shakespearian clowns that [he] had ever seen on any stage."
Death[edit | edit source]
Stiller died from natural causes at his home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on May 11, 2020, less than a month before his 93rd birthday. His death was announced by his son, Ben Stiller. Many actors Stiller worked with, including Seinfeld castmates Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jason Alexander, and King of Queens castmates Kevin James and Leah Remini, paid tributes to him on social media.
References[edit | edit source]
- Jerry Stiller Biography (1927–)
- Jerry Stiller's Own Private East Side
- Seward Park High School Alumni Association, history http://www.sewardparkhs.com/famousalumni.php
- 'Front & Center',John Houseman (1979). pp. 439. Simon & Schuster Publishers. ISBN 0-671-24328-4.
- Stiller, Ben (May 11, 2020). 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 (en).
- Keepnews, Peter. "Jerry Stiller, Comedian With Enduring Appeal, Is Dead at 92", The New York Times, May 11, 2020. (in en-US)
- ‘Seinfeld’, ‘The King Of Queens’ Casts Honor Jerry Stiller: “I Adored This Man”, Says Jason Alexander. Retrieved on May 11, 2020.