Jerry Stiller, actor and comedian father of Ben Stiller, dies at 92

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NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11:  Actors Ben Stiller and Jerry Stiller arrive at the HELP HAITI - Urban Zen HHRH & The Stiller Foundation Honoring Sean Penn at the Urban Zen Center At Stephan Weiss Studio on February 11, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)
Ben Stiller and Jerry Stiller in 2011 in New York (Credit: Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)

Jerry Stiller, the actor and comedian father of Ben Stiller, has died at the age of 92.

Ben Stiller revealed the news 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,” he wrote.

Stiller was a staple on US TV, notably sitcoms including the long-running King of Queens, in which he played Arthur Spooner, eccentric father-in-law to Kevin James's Doug Heffernan.

In Seinfeld, he played the cantankerous father of George Costanza in several memorable episodes.

Stiller studied speech and drama after returning from service in World War II, meeting his future wife, the actress and comedian Anne Meara in 1953, when they joined the Compass Players improv company in Chicago - which later became the renowned The Second City.

** FILE ** Jerry Stiller, right, and Anne Meara, center, appear with host Ed Sullivan in this May 29, 1970 file photo. After 50 years of marriage, with both their careers still going strong, Meara and Stiller remain each other's biggest fan. (AP Photo/File)
Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, centre, appear with host Ed Sullivan in May 29, 1970 (Credit: AP Photo/File)

As a comedy team, they were a huge hit, regularly appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show and a slew of other US variety shows.

After the variety circuit dwindled, Stiller went on to make appearances on TV shows including The Love Boat, Rhoda, Hart to Hart, Murder, She Wrote, Sex and the City and Law & Order.

Stiller as Frank Costanza in Seinfeld (Credit: Sony Pictures Television)
Stiller as Frank Costanza in Seinfeld (Credit: Sony Pictures Television)

He also starred in movies like Hairspray and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, and appeared on screen several times alongside his son Ben in the likes of Zoolander and The Heartbreak Kid.

His last movie credit was playing Maury Ballstein in Zoolander 2 in 2016.

Stiller’s wife Anne died in 2015, aged 85, and he is survived by Ben Stiller, daughter Amy Stiller and two grandchildren.