JERRY STILLER Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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New York-born Ben’s parents, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, had been a successful comedy duo on stage and television since the 1950s, as well as having acting careers in their own rights; Jerry is probably best known as George Costanza’s father on “Seinfeld", while Anne has been a long-time fixture on “All My Children", as well as appearing in numerous films. So perhaps it was unavoidable that Ben and his older sister Amy would find their way into the business, acting out plays and making Super-8 films at home. Ben became involved in youth theater productions and entered UCLA as a film major, but dropped out after less than a year. He returned to New York and found work in the theater world, and eventually made his film debut in 1987 in the John Cusack film Hot Pursuit; later that year, he appeared in a small role in Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun. He also began to make his mark in television, joining “Saturday Night Live” in 1989 (on the strength of a short Tom-Cruise-as-bowler spoof called “The Hustler of Money") but left after only a few weeks, going on to create his own series, “The Ben Stiller Show", which landed an Emmy in 1993 - ironically, the award came after the show’s cancellation.


Ben’s feature film directorial debut came with 1994’s Reality Bites, in which he costarred with Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke and Janeane Garofalo. Two years later, he helmed the darkly funny (but largely unsuccessful) Jim Carrey feature The Cable Guy, which he once described as “a satiric Cape Fear,” and over the next few years acted in such diverse films as There’s Something About Mary, Your Friends and Neighbors (1998), Mystery Men (1999) and the highly successful Meet the Parents (2000). Meanwhile, he was continuing to work with longtime friend Janeane Garofalo, with whom he wrote the parody self-help guide “Feel This Book", and developing the self-obsessed fashion model character Derek Zoolander, who would himself become the subject of a movie in 2001. What’s next for Ben? Apart from new parenthood with wife Christine Tayor (better known as Marcia in 1995’s The Brady Bunch Movie), he’s currently putting together a sequel to Meet the Parents, called Meet the Fockers. If the previous projects of this driven, dedicated all-round talent are anything to go by, it will be yet another success.