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Ben Stiller's Mom Anne Meara Dies at Age 85; Ben Stiller Remembers Actress and Comedian Mother on Twitter

( [email protected] ) May 26, 2015 01:49 PM EDT
Comedienne and actress Anne Meara passed away on May 23, 2015, the same day as the great mathematician John Nash.  Anne Meara is remembered as the part of the husband and wife comedy duo "Stiller and Meara", her extensive acting career, as well as being the mother of Ben Stiller, the actor/comedian.  Her son has recently tweeted about his late mother and her passing while in Rome filming Zoolander 2.
Ben Stiller and his mom Ann Meara.

Comedienne and actress Anne Meara passed away on May 23, 2015, the same day as the great mathematician John Nash.  Anne Meara is remembered as the part of the husband and wife comedy duo "Stiller and Meara", her extensive acting career, as well as being the mother of Ben Stiller, the actor/comedian.  Her son has recently tweeted about his late mother and her passing while in Rome filming Zoolander 2.

Meara began her career as one of the Compass Players, an improvisational theater troupe that eventually evolved into Second City.  It was here that she met her future husband Jerry Stiller and they married in 1953.  It would take a while before they formed a comic duo known as "Stiller and Meara". 

"Stiller and Meara" were regulars on The Ed Sullivan Show, and they also appeared on other variety shows at the time like Johnny Carson or Mike Douglas.  Meara was an Irish redhead that performed with her Jewish husband in many numbers, including one where she played Elizabeth Doyle and Jerry played Hershey Horowitz.  Elizabeth was Catholic and Hershey was Jewish, and the only thing that they seemed to have in common was their affection for each other. 

In addition to the comedy duo, Anne did many projects such as plays, and she even played a witch in Macbeth in 1957.   She appeared in the third season of Rhoda as Sally Gallagher, a wisecracking cook on Archie Bunker's Place, several episodes of ALF, as well as Sex and the City.  Though she was more cast for her comedic talents, she could do drama just as well.  The NY Times states that she said in an interview for the Archive of American Television that "Comedy, drama, it's the same deal.  You don't really act differently; you just make adjustments."  She is also well remembered for a part in the film Fame in 1980, as remarked by Judy Gold, an actress inspired by Meara that spoke of Anne highly on CNN.    

Anne's husband Jerry Stiller, now 87, is a comedian and actor who has been on many films and regular appareances on television, from playing George Costanza's father on Seinfeld to Arthur Spooner on King of Queens

Meara and Stiller are also the parents of Ben Stiller, and actor who has had a lot of comedy hit movies like Meet The Parents, There's Something About Mary, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Night at the Museum.   According to E Online, the 49-year-old actor was seen walking the streets of Rome with his wife, Christine Taylor, a day after his mother's death.  According to Time.com, he has tweeted about her, saying:  "Thank you so much for all the kind words about Anne" and "All of us in our family feel so lucky to have had her in our lives". 

Stiller is in Rome to film Zoolander 2.  The original Zoolander movie featured both Jerry Stiller and Ann Meara in an uncredited role as a Protester.    

Anne Meara is also survived by a daughter Amy, as well as several grandchildren.  Her comedy, drama, and unique personality that inspired many actors and actresses after her will be missed.