'Seinfeld' star Jerry Stiller remembered as ‘one of the most kind, loving and funny people to ever grace this earth’

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Actor and comedian Jerry Stiller has died, his son Ben Stiller shared on social media early Monday — and remembrances of the Seinfeld and The King of Queens star quickly followed.

Jerry was quickly trending on Twitter many times over, including “Mr. Constanza,” “Festivus,” “Serenity Now” — all related to his portrayal of George’s dad on Seinfeld — as well as “Arthur Spooner,” his role on King of Queens.

Ben, who worked with his father on about a dozen films (Zoolander, Heavyweights, Heartbreak Kid), said the 92-year-old died from “natural causes” and called him “a great dad” to him and his sister, Amy Stiller, as well as grandfather. He also described his father as “the most dedicated husband” to late wife and comedic partner Anne Meara.

In addition to many fan tributes — and Seinfeld gifs circulating— Jerry was remembered by co-stars and other celebrities. Jason Alexander, who played his son George on Seinfeld, responded to the “sad news.” He called him “perhaps the kindest man I ever had the honor to work beside.” He called him “a great actor, a great man” and a “lovely friend.” He ended the post by saying, “I love you.”

Jerry Seinfeld posted soon after, sharing a photo of himself frowning while holding up Jerry and Meara’s 1963 comedy album, Ed Sullivan Presents The Last Two People In The World.

He added that the late star’s “comedy will live forever.”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus shared an infamous Seinfeld blooper in which she couldn’t get through the scene with the comedic dynamo. (“You’re saying you want a piece of me?”) She wrote that the truth is that “happened all the time with Jerry Stiller. He was so funny and such a dear human being. We loved him.”


Leah Remini said that while she was “lucky enough” to have Jerry play her dad on King of Queens for nine years, but called herself “luckier to know him, the man, the husband, the father, the grandfather.” She recalled their special “talks off screen” and “the kindness he had shown to me and my family.”

Kevin James, who was Jerry’s son-in-law on King of Queens, called him “one of the most kind, loving, and funny people to ever grace this earth.”

Cynthia Nixon worked with him early in her career and formed a lasting bond. She called Jerry and Meara her “fairy godparents.”

Wayne Knight, Seinfeld’s Newman, talked about the “honor” of getting to work with him after being a young fan. “He was a giant,” he wrote.

Seinfeld’s John O’Hurley called him a “wonderful man.”

Parry Shen told a great story about Stiller saving his job on King of Queens.

Merrin Dungey also recalled their King of Queen days.

On Live With Kelly & Ryan Monday, Kelly Ripa spoke about working with Jerry and Meara many times on All My Children.

“He was the kindest, loveliest person," she said. "But his acting was like, in another dimension. He could go into a far off place and bring out things in a scene that would never occur to you."

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Jerry and Anne Meara became a comedy team in the 1960s — appearing at nightclubs, in commercials and on TV sketch and talk shows — and he found a second wave of fame in the ‘90s as Frank Costanza, son of Jason Alexander’s George, in Seinfeld. (He didn’t appear until Season 5 and was in fewer than 30 of the 180 episodes, yet he created some of the show’s most memorable moments. After Seinfeld, he had a long run on King of Queens.

Meara died in 2015 and Jerry detailed their marriage and comedic partnership in his 2000 memoir, Married to Laughter: A Love Story Featuring Anne Meara.

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