Comedians

12 Definitive Facts About Jerry Stiller

1. He is perhaps best known for playing Frank Costanza on the NBC comedy series Seinfeld and Arthur Spooner on the CBS comedy series The King of Queens. He spent many years in the comedy team Stiller and Meara with his wife, Anne Meara.

2. They are the parents of actor Ben Stiller, with whom Stiller co-starred in the films Zoolander, Heavyweights, Hot Pursuit, and The Heartbreak Kid.

3. His paternal grandparents immigrated from Galicia, and his mother was born in Poland.

4. In the 1953 Phoenix Theater production of Coriolanus formed “the best trio of Shakespearian clowns that

5. 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, mainly on 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.

6. They starred in their own syndicated five-minute sketch comedy show, Take Five with Stiller and Meara .

7. 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 also did some comedy sketches between show discussions.

8. Stiller played the irascible Frank Costanza, the father of George Costanza in the sitcom Seinfeld from 1993 to 1998.

9. 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.

10. 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, and played the role of Arthur Spooner, the father of Carrie Heffernan, in the sitcom from 1998 until 2007.

11. Stiller 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”.

12. In the late 1990s, Stiller appeared in a series of Nike television commercials as the ghost of deceased Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi.

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