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Jerry Stiller, "Seinfeld" and "Hairspray" Actor and Comedian, Dies at 92
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Ubiquitous
2020-05-11 08:41:00 UTC
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Jerry Stiller, actor and comedian and father to Ben Stiller, has died of
nature causes. He was 92.

Ben Stiller confirmed his father's death in the early hours of Monday
morning, writing on Twitter: "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."

After a long career performing in comedy routines with his wife Anne Meara,
appearing on Broadway and guest-starring on TV series, Stiller became known
for his role on "Seinfeld" as Frank Constanza, as Leah Remini's father on
"The King of Queens," and as Zoolander's manager in the comedy directed by
Ben Stiller.

He appeared in 26 episodes of "Seinfeld" as Constanza, the father of George
(Jason Alexander), from 1993-98, with Estelle Harris playing his wife,
Estelle. Stiller received an Emmy nomination for his work on the show in
1997.

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

Though known as a comedian, Stiller was also a serious dramatic actor with a
long history on Broadway.

Long before Stiller became known for his appearances on "Seinfeld" and "The
King of Queens," Stiller and Meara, were a top comedy act in the 1960s,
appearing on "The Ed Sullivan Show" some 36 times. The pair were also members
of the improv group the Compass Players, which later became Second City.

Although Meara had in fact converted to Judaism when the couple got married,
Stiller and Meara's material centered on the differences in their ethnic
backgrounds, epitomized by their signature "Hershey Horowitz/Mary Elizabeth
Doyle" routines.

Meara died in May 2015.

On "The King of Queens," where he was a series regular from 1998-2007, he
played the much-married Arthur Spooner, the father of Leah Remini's Carrie
Heffernan.

Stiller appeared in both film versions of "Hairspray," the 1988 John Waters
nostalgia trip in which he and Divine played the parents of Ricki Lake's
Tracy Turnblad, and the 2007 Adam Shankman-directed feature adaptation of the
musical based on the Waters film, in which Stiller played Mr. Pinky.

As gross-out sex comedies came to rule the day in recent years, Stiller found
a niche for himself as the elderly comedian who would, with relish, say
things not ordinarily expected of seniors.

An example was the Farrelly brothers' 2007 effort "The Heartbreak Kid," one
of the dozen or so comedies in which Stiller appeared with son Ben. The
Austin Chronicle said: "A man has not fully lived, comedically speaking,
until his eyes and ears have been blessed with the experience of octogenarian
Jerry Stiller as Doc, the crustily libidinous father of Ben Stiller's 40-
year-old non-virgin bachelor, Eddie Cantrow."

The hit 2001 comedy "Zoolander," directed by and starring Ben Stiller as the
air-headed model of the title, was a true family affair, with father Jerry
playing Zoolander's manager, Maury Ballstein. Variety said: Other supporting
standout is Stiller's father Jerry as Zoolander's aggressively blunt, wannabe
youthful agent."

In addition to Ben and Jerry, Ben's wife Christine Taylor played a Time
magazine reporter; while Meara and Ben's sister Amy appeared in cameos.

Jerry and Ben Stiller first appeared together in the forgettable 1987 comedy
"Hot Pursuit." In Ben's first feature directorial effort, 1994's "Reality
Bites," Meara and sister Amy both had roles, but Jerry was absent except in
the credits, where he was thanked.

Stiller and Meara starred in Joan Micklin Silver's 1999 feature "A Fish in
the Bathtub," about a couple who have been bickering for decades, finally
prompting the wife to move in with their son, played by Mark Ruffalo.

Demonstrating an ability to do drama, Stiller appeared in a supporting role
as Police Lt. Rico Patrone in classics 1970s thriller "The Taking of Pelham
One Two Three" and he later did "Homicide: Life on the Street" and two
episodes of "Law & Order." More recently, he guested on "The Good Wife" in
2011 as Judge Felix Afterman.

Stiller was born in New York City. He graduated from Syracuse University with
a B.S. in speech and drama, and he also studied drama at HB Studio in
Greenwich Village.

He made his Broadway debut in 1954 in the original musical comedy "The Golden
Apple." He also appeared on the Rialto in a revival of "The Threepenny
Opera," 1957 revivals of "Measure for Measure" and "The Taming of the Shrew,"
"The Power and the Glory" (based on the Graham Greene novel), "The Ritz"
(1975) and "Unexpected Guests" (1977). In 1980, Stiller had the starring role
in the Frank Langella-directed "Passione," by Albert Innaurato.

More impressive was David Rabe's Mike Nichols-directed "Hurlyburly" (1984-
85), a caustic satire of Hollywood in which Stiller played a hack
screenwriter. The New York Times said: The cast could not be better. Mr.
Stiller, the sole representative of Hollywood's older, Jewish generation, is
a frazzled amalgam of vulgarity and wounded vanity - loonily outfitted (by
Ann Roth) in Western gear."

He made his screen debut in 1956 in a segment of "Studio One in Hollywood."

Stiller was busy in the 1970s guesting on the likes of "The Courtship of
Eddie's Father," "Love, American Style," "Phyllis" and "Rhoda"; the '80s
brought guest gigs on "Hart to Hart," "Archie Bunker's Place," "Alice" and
"Murder, She Wrote." The 1990s brought guest roles on "L.A. Law," "In the
Heat of the Night" and "The Larry Sanders Show," in which he played himself.

His first effort as a series regular was CBS' brief "Joe and Sons" in 1975;
next was NBC's 1988 effort "Tattingers," about a New York City restaurant in
which Stiller's character was head chef.

In addition to the "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three," Stiller's early
feature work included "Airport 1975" and the feature adaptation of Terrence
McNally's farce "The Ritz," in which the actor played Carmine Vespucci (whom
the actor played on Broadway), who targets his brother-in-law, Gaetano
Proclo, played by Jack Weston, for assassination, prompting Proclo to seek
refuge in what he doesn't realize is a gay bathhouse. In "Nasty Habits," a
satire of Watergate applied to the politics of a convent, both Meara and
Stiller appeared. He appeared in the odd Frank Langella vehicle "Those Lips,
Those Eyes" in 1980, the Kim Basinger-Jeff Bridges starrer "Nadine" in 1987
and Paul Mazursky's "The Pickle" in 1993.

In 1999, Comedy Central aired a Friars' Club Roast of Jerry Stiller; the
Roasters were drawn from several generations ranging from Meara and Alan King
to Sandra Bernhard, Harvey Keitel and Michael McKean to son Ben and Jason
Alexander.

Stiller was nominated for a Grammy in 2001 for best spoken word album for
"Married to Laughter: A Love Story Featuring Anne Meara."

Though Stiller did not boast the kind of smooth voice that one usually
associates with voiceover actors, he actually did quite a lot of work in this
arena. He was the voice of Pretty Boy in ABC's animated series "Teacher's
Pet" in the early 2000s and the accompanying 2004 straight-to-video film;
Uncle Max in 2004's "The Lion King 1«"; Old White Mouse on Nickelodeon's
"Wonder Pets!" in 2009; Principal Stickler on Disney Channel's "Fish Hooks"
in 2010-11; Harvey in the Disney animated feature "Planes: Fire & Rescue" in
2014; and Murray Weiner in the 2014 NBC special "How Murray Saved Christmas."

Stiller and Meara shared a star on the Hollywood Walk in Fame, awarded in
2007.


--
Every American should want President Trump and his administration to handle
the coronavirus epidemic effectively and successfully. Those who seem eager
to see the president fail and to call every administration misstep a fiasco
risk letting their partisanship blind them to the demands not only of civic
responsibility but of basic decency.
Diner
2020-05-11 13:10:46 UTC
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Post by Ubiquitous
Jerry Stiller, actor and comedian and father to Ben Stiller, has died of
nature causes.
"Nature causes"?
Well, he was a child of nature, I guess...
d***@gmail.com
2020-05-11 15:25:45 UTC
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Diner

"Nature causes"?
Well, he was a child of nature, I guess...

At his age, I’d s translate it as

“he is fucking older than dirt,
and he had five (5) problems
that could be the cause of”.

IOW, same as I. LOLOLOL
Ian J. Ball
2020-05-11 13:22:42 UTC
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Post by Ubiquitous
Jerry Stiller, actor and comedian and father to Ben Stiller, has died of
nature causes. He was 92.
He lived a good, long, memomorable life.
--
"Who would ever do this to him!?" - HottCiara on DOOL (04-27-2020), asking
who would stab Victor Kirakis... How about ANYONE WHO'S EVER MET HIM??!!
shawn
2020-05-11 13:31:49 UTC
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Post by Ian J. Ball
Post by Ubiquitous
Jerry Stiller, actor and comedian and father to Ben Stiller, has died of
nature causes. He was 92.
He lived a good, long, memomorable life.
Agreed. I can't say I recall his dramatic roles but he did so well as
a comedian.
Bermuda999
2020-05-11 14:23:44 UTC
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Post by Ubiquitous
Jerry Stiller, actor and comedian and father to Ben Stiller, has died of
nature causes. He was 92.
"Serenity Now"

vs.

"You want of piece of me?"


vs.

"You want a piece of a blooper?"

d***@gmail.com
2020-05-11 16:51:28 UTC
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Bermuda:


"Serenity Now"

vs.

"You want of piece of me?"
http://youtu.be/hSbtDuFJF6U

vs.

"You want a piece of a blooper?"
http://youtu.be/cFpKs4FEITo

You get it. Love that ol guy and Ms Meara.

Happy Festivus!
David Carson
2020-05-12 02:20:28 UTC
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Post by Bermuda999
Post by Ubiquitous
Jerry Stiller, actor and comedian and father to Ben Stiller, has died of
nature causes. He was 92.
"Serenity Now"
Are you supposed to yell it?
Bermuda999
2020-05-12 12:13:27 UTC
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Post by David Carson
Post by Bermuda999
Post by Ubiquitous
Jerry Stiller, actor and comedian and father to Ben Stiller, has died of
nature causes. He was 92.
"Serenity Now"
Are you supposed to yell it?
The man on the tape wasn't specific.


And, of course, it turns out there is more to it than "Serenity Now"


d***@gmail.com
2020-05-12 17:38:31 UTC
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You STOPPED SHORT WITH MY WIFE. I INVENTED STOPPING SHORT.
David Carson
2020-05-12 02:33:32 UTC
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Post by Bermuda999
Post by Ubiquitous
Jerry Stiller, actor and comedian and father to Ben Stiller, has died of
nature causes. He was 92.
"Serenity Now"
vs.
"You want of piece of me?"
http://youtu.be/hSbtDuFJF6U
vs.
"You want a piece of a blooper?"
http://youtu.be/cFpKs4FEITo
My favorite Frank Constanza lines are "So let him have bananas on the
side!" and "What the hell did you trade Jay Buhner for?"





Estelle Harris is on the verge of busting during the Jay Buhner rant.

I enjoyed him a great deal on "The King of Queens" also, but Frank
Costanza was funnier than Arthur Spooner.

David Carson
--
Dead or Alive Data Base
http://www.doadb.com
Bermuda999
2020-05-27 13:35:11 UTC
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Post by Bermuda999
Post by Ubiquitous
Jerry Stiller, actor and comedian and father to Ben Stiller, has died of
nature causes. He was 92.
"Serenity Now"
vs.
"You want of piece of me?"
http://youtu.be/hSbtDuFJF6U
vs.
"You want a piece of a blooper?"
http://youtu.be/cFpKs4FEITo
It should be mentioned that Stiller was George's second father on Seinfeld. The first Frank Costanza was played by John Randolph. Later, in the creative tradition of Stalin, for syndication purposes, all of Randolph's scenes were re-shot with Stiller.

Side-by-side comparison

Scott Brady
2020-05-27 14:02:14 UTC
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Post by Bermuda999
It should be mentioned that Stiller was George's second father on Seinfeld. The first Frank Costanza was played by John Randolph. Later, in the creative tradition of Stalin, for syndication purposes, all of Randolph's scenes were re-shot with Stiller.
The Jewish Randolph was purportedly replaced because he "looked too Protestant."

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jerry-stiller-dead-seinfeld-king-queens-actor-was-92-758216
e***@gmail.com
2020-05-27 14:40:29 UTC
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But they interestingly did not refilm scenes from an early episode when Jerry's dad was played by someone other than Barney Martin
Bermuda999
2020-05-27 23:42:11 UTC
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Post by e***@gmail.com
But they interestingly did not refilm scenes from an early episode when Jerry's dad was played by someone other than Barney Martin
Others:

The role of Newman began as a disembodied voice by Larry David in one episode. Wayne Knight of course took it from there.

Lloyd Braun was first played by Peter Keleghan ("Non-Fat Yogurt")
and then Matt McCoy ("The Gum" and "Serenity Now")(after Keleghan moved to Canada)

Mr. Lippman was played by Richard Fancy, and once by Harris Shore (The Library)

George Steinbrenner was primarily voiced by Larry David (even after Larry left the show), but also by Mitch Mitchell and Lee Bear
Terry del Fuego
2020-05-27 18:54:48 UTC
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On Wed, 27 May 2020 06:35:11 -0700 (PDT), Bermuda999
Post by Bermuda999
It should be mentioned that Stiller was George's second father
on Seinfeld. The first Frank Costanza was played by John Randolph.
Later, in the creative tradition of Stalin, for syndication purposes, all
of Randolph's scenes were re-shot with Stiller.
What an utterly absurd amount of work for something that ridiculous!
And it's presumably 100% fake laughter on the re-shoots.

I seem to be one of the few who never really "got" the show in the
first place, this just makes me even more reluctant to give it another
try.

Well, that and the absurd "filmed in Panavision" credit.
That Derek
2020-05-27 14:43:28 UTC
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Post by Bermuda999
It should be mentioned that Stiller was George's second father on Seinfeld. The first Frank Costanza was played by John Randolph. Later, in the creative tradition of Stalin, for syndication purposes, all of Randolph's scenes were re-shot with Stiller
For the sake of consistency, why didn't they replace Jerry Seinfeld's original TV dad? In his first (and only) appearance, Morty Seinfeld was portrayed by Phil Bruns, largely remembered as having been Mary Hartman's father in the 1970s; Morty was later played by Barney Martin (20 episodes per IMDb). Perhaps re-doing one episode to accomplish this would not have been worth the bother. The
original passing reference to "de-Stalinization" seems quite appropriate to Mr. Randolph.

To borrow a DC Comics dynamic, John Randolph and Phil Bruns were the "Earth-Two" iterations of George and Jerry's respective fathers. Calling the show "The Seinfeld Chronicles" also falls into this Earth-Two rubric.
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