Anne Meara, Comedian of Stiller & Meara Fame, Dies at 85

25 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AP NEWSBREAK: Actress Anne Meara, mom of Ben Stiller, dies.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actress and comedian Anne Meara, whose comic work with husband Jerry Stiller helped launch a 60-year career in film and TV, has died. The Sex in the City actress and mother of Hollywood star Ben Stiller passed away on Saturday, according to her husband, the comic and actor Jerry Stiller.Alongside husband and fellow Second City graduate Jerry Stiller, Meara was a staple of variety programs like The Ed Sullivan Show and The Merv Griffin Show. She had been a regular on TV and the silver screen for decades, appearing alongside Jerry as one half of the comedy double-act Stiller & Meara in the 1960 and 70s.

The duo would continue to work together throughout their 61-year marriage, and later, with their son, Ben Stiller, all three appearing in 2001’s Zoolander. “Anne’s memory lives on in the hearts of daughter Amy, son Ben, her grandchildren, her extended family and friends, and the millions she entertained as an actress, writer and comedienne,” read the statement. More recently she played Mary Brady – the mother of bartender Steve Brady – who was in an on off relationship with Miranda Hobbes played by Cynthia Nixon in Sex and the City. She also made a guest appearance on Will & Grace in 2001 and made a comeback with “Stiller & Meara,” in 2010 in a Yahoo comedy series produced in part by son Ben who has starred in scores of A-list films.

Here’s how The New York Times covered of some of her performances over the years — as well as Tweets from fellow artists remembering her legacy. • She starred in the 1988 Richard Greenberg play, “Eastern Standard,” as a homeless woman on the beach. Meara and Stiller, who met in 1953 at an agent’s office and married a few months later, worked together in the Compass Players comedy troupe, a precursor to the Second City organization, before forming their own duo.

Much of their humor was marriage-based and focused on height – Stiller was 5-foot-4 (1.62 meters), Meara was taller – and ethnicity – he was Jewish, she was of Irish heritage. “Our marriage has lasted because we have the same feelings of insecurity about being an actor. Meara is scrupulous in refusing to conform to the sentimentalized role that her bleeding-heart benefactors wish her to play.” • She was nominated for a Tony for her role in the 1993 revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “Anna Christie,” which was directed by David Leveaux for the Roundabout Theater Company.

Meara’s first produced work as a playwright, “After-Play,” opened at the Manhattan Theater Club in 1995 — about little more than the banter of two showbiz couples who had just been to the theater. Meara is one up on Borges,” wrote Alvin Klein. “She has the smarts to know just what to do with her inspiration and her musings if they are to be accessible to mainstream audiences.”

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