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Anne Meara Dead: Ben Stiller’s Mother and Wife of Jerry Stiller Dies at 85

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Ben Stiller’s mother and wife of Jerry Stiller – actress Anne Meara – has died at the age of 85.

Jerry Stiller and son Ben Stiller say Anne Meara died Saturday, May 23. No other details were provided.

The comedian launched a standup career with husband Jerry Stiller in the 1950s and found success as an actress in films, on TV and the stage.

Born in Brooklyn on September 20, 1929, Anne Meara was a red-haired, Irish-Catholic girl who struck a vivid contrast to Jerry Stiller, a Jewish guy from Manhattan’s Lower East Side who was two years older and four inches shorter.

They logged 36 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and were a successful team in Las Vegas, major nightclubs, on records and in commercials.


Their marriage lasted, but the act was dissolved in the 1970s as Anne Meara resumed the acting career she had originally sought.Anne Meara dead at 85

The actress appeared in such films as The Out-of-Towners, Fame, Awakenings and Ben Stiller’s Reality Bites.

Anne Meara was twice nominated for an Emmy Award for her supporting role on Archie Bunker’s Place, along with two other Emmy nods, most recently in 1997 for her guest-starring role on Homicide. She won a Writers Guild Award for co-writing the 1983 TV movie The Other Woman.

She also appeared in dozens of films and TV shows, including a longtime role on All My Children and appearances on Rhoda, Alf and The King of Queens. She shared the screen with her son in 2006’s Night at the Museum.

Anne Meara made her off-Broadway debut in 1971 in John Guare’s award-winning play The House of Blue Leaves. A quarter-century later, she made her off-Broadway bow as a playwright with her comedy-drama, After-Play.

In 2010, Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller reunited on-screen for Stiller & Meara: A Show About Everything, a chatty Web series produced by their son Ben Stiller and shot in their longtime home on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Besides Jerry and Ben Stiller, Anne Meara is survived by her daughter, Amy, and several grandchildren.