Family business. As a comedian and actor, Jerry Stiller raised his son, Ben Stiller, in the industry, giving the Zoolander star an early interest in film. When he began acting in and directing his own projects, Ben often asked his father to be a part of the productions, leading to many collaborations over the years.
The father-son duo’s first onscreen appearances together were in shorts, including The Hustler of Money and the Oscar-nominated Shoeshine in 1987. They later moved on to Hot Pursuit, Highway to Hell and Heavyweights.
After Ben became known as a leading man, his father popped up more and more in his movies, from Zoolander in 2001 to The Heartbreak Kid in 2007. The Dodgeball star also guest-starred in a 2002 episode of The King of Queens, in which he played Jerry’s character Arthur’s father.
The Stillers even took their act to talk shows. Jerry reflected on his son’s upbringing during a June 1996 appearance on Late Night With Conan O’Brien. “All my life, I mean, I bring this kid up. I give him things,” he said. “I coddle him practically. I practically teach him how to walk, how to get on the stage, how to make an entrance. I gave him the Fuji camera to make his first film.”
The family members’ last acting credits together occurred in 2016 when they starred in Zoolander 2. The sequel served as one of Jerry’s final roles too.
Ben announced his father’s death on May 11. Jerry was 92. “I’m sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, passed away from natural causes,” he tweeted at the time. “He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to [the late] Anne [Meara] for about 62 years. He will be greatly missed. Love you Dad.”
The Emmy winner later showed his appreciation for those who shared kind words about the Seinfeld alum after his death. “Thanks so much for the incredible outpouring of love and appreciation for Jerry,” Ben wrote via Twitter. “I know how much it would mean to him.”
Scroll down to revisit all the times Ben and Jerry appeared onscreen together on what would have been Jerry’s 93rd birthday on June 8.