Legendary comedic actor Jerry Stiller has died. He was 92.
“I’m sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, passed away from natural causes,” Ben Stiller tweeted on Monday, May 11. “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.”
The news comes 16 months after Jerry was hospitalized for a medical emergency. A source told Us Weekly at the time, “Jerry is fine. He had no signs of a stroke. … He had an episode and they took him to the hospital to be checked out. He’s completely fine and is resting comfortably.”
The actor was best known for his role on Seinfeld as Frank Costanza, the father of Jason Alexander’s character, George Costanza. Although he did not join the iconic NBC sitcom until season 5, Jerry quickly became an essential member of the cast. He received an Emmy nomination in 1997 for the guest role.
Just four months after the Seinfeld series finale aired in May 1998, Jerry was back on the small screen playing another father, Arthur Spooner, on The King of Queens opposite Kevin James and Leah Remini. His real-life wife, Anne Meara, had a brief role on the CBS sitcom as Veronica Olchin, and their characters married in the final episode.
Jerry and Meara were a comedy duo in their own right. The couple met in 1953 and married two years later. After doing improv in Chicago, they performed under the name “Stiller and Meara” in New York City and eventually across the country. They were also regulars on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Years later, the pair separated professionally but remained happily married.
Jerry continued to perform through his 80s, starring alongside his son, Ben, 54, in films including Hot Pursuit, Zoolander and The Heartbreak Kid.
Meara died at the age of 85 in May 2015 after suffering multiple strokes.
The couple are survived by their two children: Ben and Amy Stiller.
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