Jerry Stiller, Comedian With Enduring Appeal, Is Dead at 92
Jerry Stiller, a classically trained actor who became a comedy star twice — in the 1960s in partnership
with his wife, Anne Meara, and in the 1990s with a memorable recurring role on “Seinfeld” — has died.
He was 92.
His death was confirmed on Monday by his son, the actor Ben Stiller, in a tweet, who said his father
had died of natural causes.
Mr. Stiller’s accomplishments as an actor were considerable. He appeared on Broadway in Terrence
McNally’s frantic farce “The Ritz” in 1975 and David Rabe’s dark drama “Hurlyburly” in 1984. Off
Broadway, he was in “The Threepenny Opera”; in Central Park, he played Shakespearean clowns for
Joseph Papp; onscreen, he was seen as, among other things, a police detective in “The Taking of
Pelham One, Two, Three” (1974) and Divine’s husband in John Waters’s “Hairspray” (1988). But he was
best known as a comedian.
The team of Stiller and Meara was for many years a familiar presence in nightclubs, on television variety
and talk shows, and in radio and television commercials, most memorably for Blue Nun wine and
Years after the act broke up, Mr. Stiller captured a new generation of fans as Frank Costanza, the
short-tempered and not entirely sane father of Jason Alexander’s George, on the NBC series “Seinfeld,”
one of the most successful television comedies of all time.
The founder of Festivus has left us. his Frank Castanza was the best.