Born Gerald Stiller on June 8, 1927 in New York City, Jerry Stiller is the son of Austrian-Jewish and Russian-Jewish immigrants. He was educated in Syracuse University, where he earned a degree in Speech and Drama. His stage debut was in 1951's The Silver Whistle. In 1954 he married his wife Anne Meara and soon made a comedy show with her, entitled Stiller and Meara. The two then became regulars on the Ed Sullivan Show. After that stint Stiller continued performing and writing through the decades and appeared as guest on some television shows like The Ritz.
Jerry Stiller is also known for his portrayal of the short-tempered Frank Costanza on the hit sitcom Seinfeld. He held on to the role from 1993 to 1998, and was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 1997. He also won the American Comedy Award for Funniest Male Guest Appearance in a TV Series for his performance. When the series ended, Jerry Stiller took on the role of Arthur Spooner on CBS’ The King of Queens. He initially wanted to retire from show business, but comedian Kevin James convinced him otherwise.
In 2007, Stiller and his wife were honored with a joint star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Other credits of the actor include several television commercials for Nike, where he played the Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi. Stiller has also been given roles in Hairspray, The Heartbreak Kid, Zoolander, On the Line, Chump Change, The Independent, Secret of the Andes, A Fish in the Bathtub and The Suburbans. He has also been seen on television shows like Sex and the City, Law & Order, Homicide: Life on the Street and Crashbox. He has also done voice work for animated projects like Teacher’s Pet, Disney’s Hercules and the video The Lion King 1 1/2.
(Photo courtesy of CBS)