Jerry Stiller
Photo courtesy the artist
Jerry Stiller

Comedian and actor Jerry Stiller was born in 1927 in New York City; received his theatrical training at Syracuse University and graduated in 1950. As the short, intense half of the stellar, husband-and-wife comedy duo Stiller & Meara, Jerry Stiller rose to stardom in the sketch comedy world of the 1960s, appearing frequently on network television variety shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show with his wife Anne Meara. Stiller & Meara were among the first graduates of the Second City improvisational troupe to attain stardom, and they are the parents of the comedic actors Ben and Amy Stiller.

In a career spanning five decades, Jerry Stiller has appeared in numerous television dramatic series and sitcoms including Rhoda, The Love Boat, The Good Wife and most famously Seinfeld and The King of Queens.

In Seinfeld (1993-98), he played George Costanza’s hot-headed father Frank, for which he received an Emmy nomination as “Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series” and the American Comedy Award for “Funniest Male Guest Appearance in a TV Series.” In the sitcom The King of Queens (1998-2007), he played the goofy and annoying father-in-law Arthur Spooner.

Stiller has appeared in numerous movies, most notably Zoolander, Hairspray, Heavyweights and The Heartbreak Kid.

In 1991 Jerry Stiller portrayed Chicago hot jazz bandleader Eddie Condon for the Riverwalk Jazz public radio series in a role based on Condon’s memoir We Called It Music.