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.
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
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.”
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
Yeah. I adored this man. pic.twitter.com/4YiaTLJh4C— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) May 11, 2020
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.”
Jerry Stiller's comedy will live forever.— Jerry Seinfeld (@JerrySeinfeld) May 11, 2020
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.”
The truth is that this happened all the time with Jerry Stiller. He was so funny and such a dear human being. We loved him. RIP Jerry Stiller.https://t.co/kXL14zMKeX— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) May 11, 2020
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.
I remember watching Stiller & Meara as a kid on Ed Sullivan, loving them. Then to work with Jerry, a kind, brilliant comedian who had no idea how great he was. What an honor! He was a giant!— Wayne Knight (@iWayneKnight) May 11, 2020
Seinfeld’s John O’Hurley called him a “wonderful man.”
Such a wonderful man. Rest In Peace, my friend...Jerry Stiller, 'Seinfeld' star and '60s comedy legend, dies at 92 https://t.co/hJZlwZcWAa— John O'Hurley ☘️🐕☘️ (@ImJohnOHurley) May 11, 2020
Parry Shen told a great story about Stiller saving his job on King of Queens.
I had the honor of working with your Dad on “TKOQ”. After the table read, I was canned & your father talked to the producers & got me my job back. When I thanked him, he said, “Hey, it’s not Shakespeare!” A class act & a legend. What a gift to the world. Deepest condolences. pic.twitter.com/Uynoyoj20M— Parry Shen (@parryshen) May 11, 2020
Merrin Dungey also recalled their King of Queen days.
Jerry was SUCH a joy to work with. I had my very first scene on King of Queens with him.— Merrin Dungey (@RealMerrinD) May 11, 2020
So kind, so funny and such a great man. This is an incredible loss, I’m sending @RedHourBen and the whole family so much love.❤️#RIPJerryStiller https://t.co/yxUU278uax
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."
Here are some more:
So sorry. He made me laugh till I cried on many many occasions.— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) May 11, 2020
Sending you love, Ben. What a giant. So grateful for him, and Anne, and you. ❤️❤️❤️— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) May 11, 2020
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
So sorry for your loss, Ben.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) May 11, 2020
On stage or off he could put a smile on your face. Photo credit Arlene Gottfried. RIP Jerry Stiller pic.twitter.com/U3fRr9QTwM— Gilbert Gottfried (@RealGilbert) May 11, 2020
Jerry Stiller was as New York as they come. To my friend Ben who, like his father, is a New Yorker through and through I extend my deepest condolences. Jerry will be missed. https://t.co/KXLi9eEk7c— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) May 11, 2020
RIP Jerry Stiller, a great comic actor and a splendid man. He and his wife Anne were royalty but they would’ve laughed in your face if you said so. And then hugged the hell out of you.— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) May 11, 2020
The late Jerry Stiller was - and always will be - a NYC icon. He & Anne Meara were legendary entertainers, and I had the good luck to present them with a "Made in New York" Mayor's Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2012. Now they're back together, & Heaven just got a lot funnier. pic.twitter.com/VcsEmQXnqr— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) May 11, 2020
I so loved & admired Jerry Stiller. Met him & Anne in ‘73 when Franken & Davis did the NYC Improv. Weren’t many teams then (still aren’t) & we were big Stiller & Meara fans. They were so encouraging then & during my pol. career. Here's a sweet photo of the two of them. RIP Jerry. pic.twitter.com/1bnSwD2y3N— Al Franken (@alfranken) May 11, 2020
Seeing Jerry Stiller on screen instantly made you happy. Just a beloved person in comedy, in NYC, in show business in general. Sending love and condolences to @RedHourBen.— billy eichner (@billyeichner) May 11, 2020
RIP, Jerry Stiller. A comedic legend who really knew how to steal a scene. Like here in Zoolander as Maury Ballstein. pic.twitter.com/4VAF5MYfHl— Adam Best (@adamcbest) May 11, 2020
I’m so sorry, Ben. He was the greatest. Sending love. ♥️— Randy Rainbow (@RandyRainbow) May 11, 2020
He was a lovely man - always so kind to me. Condolences Ben.— Hank Azaria (@HankAzaria) May 11, 2020
I’m so sorry to hear this. He was so loved.— Jon Cryer (@MrJonCryer) May 11, 2020
He was one of a kind. So grateful for all the joy he brought into my life. Our sincere condolences, to you and your family. 🙏— Cary Elwes (@Cary_Elwes) May 11, 2020
Jerry Stiller not just brilliant but he and his beloved wife + partner in comedy Anne Meara as warm, lovely, & ego-free as anyone in the business. RIP— Frank Rich (@frankrichny) May 11, 2020
What a great man! I’m sorry for your loss. May his memory be a blessing— Nigella Lawson (@Nigella_Lawson) May 11, 2020
As Frank Costanza and Arthur Spooner, Jerry Stiller was easily my favorite TV father actor of all time. Thank you for all the countless laughs, Mr. Stiller. pic.twitter.com/C90SAVSroX— Florida Man (@WWEBigE) May 11, 2020
So sorry to hear this - your Dad made me laugh so much ❤️— Ike Barinholtz (@ikebarinholtz) May 11, 2020
So very sorry to hear this, Ben. He was always a joy to be around, as was your wonderful mother. Sending love and condolences to you and your family— Morgan Fairchild (@morgfair) May 11, 2020
We send you all love and our condolences, Ben. Every B'way show I every did your folks would come back to say hello and it didn't matter if the show was a hit or a flop..the light and love they brought was always the highlight of the day. Thanks for sharing them with us. Godspeed— Peter Gallagher (@petergallagher) May 11, 2020
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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