Jerry Stiller, the longtime comedian and actor who played Frank Costanza on Seinfeld, Arthur Spooner on The King of Queens and Heavyweights has died of natural causes, his son Ben confirmed. He was 92.
“He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years. He will be greatly missed. Love you Dad,” Ben tweeted.
The eldest of three children, Stiller jumped into show business at a young age. In 1953, he met his late wife, Anne Meara and years later, they formed the comedy team “Stiller & Meara”. The two later wed and had two children, Ben and Amy, who followed in their parents’ footsteps into show business.
“Our marriage has lasted because we have the same feelings of insecurity about being an actor,” Stiller told the New York Daily News in 2012. “We needed stability.”
As the late 1980s rolled around, Stiller found a home as a curmudgeon on television. First starring as Frank Costanza on Seinfeld, he became a star. When it came to play Arthur Spooner on The King of Queens, actor Kevin James had to lure Stiller out of retirement. He played the role from 1998 to 2007.
“This was an opportunity for me, for the first time, to test myself as an actor because I never saw myself as more than just a decent actor,” he said.