Who Was Jerry Stiller's Wife?

It's not easy finding a partner who you want to work with and spend the rest of your life with, but actor and comedian Jerry Stiller and his wife, Anne Meara, were lucky enough to do just that. Jerry and Meara, who were the parents of actors Amy and Ben Stiller, tied the knot in 1954 and stayed together until Anne's death in 2015 at the age of 85. Jerry died on May 11, 2020, due to natural causes, per CNN

His son, Ben, announced the comedy legend's passing in a tweet, writing, "I'm sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, passed away from natural causes. 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."

Although it's sad that Ben has lost both his mother and father, it definitely seems as though both Jerry and Meara lived long lives, and as beloved comedians, their lives were definitely filled with laughter. 

Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara were comedy royalty

Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara came on to the comedy scene in the 1960s and appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show more than 30 times, per Variety. They were part of the improv comedy group, the Compass Players, which eventually became Second City, the famed Chicago group that has spawned generations of comedic greats. The couple officially stopped working together in the 1970s and for good reason. 

In 1977, Stiller told People (via Country Living), "I love Anne, but if I had depended on her in my professional life, I would have lost her as a wife." Meara agreed, saying that she didn't know "where the act ended and [their] marriage began," per the same outlet. 

Thanks to their professional separation, many might remember Meara most for her individual roles. She had a recurring role on the soap opera All My Children as Peggy Moody and appeared in more than 60 episodes of Archie Bunker's Place as Veronica Rooney. Additionally, Meara played Steve's mom on Sex and the City and had two roles on the show King Of Queens, which her husband starred on, among various other television roles.

In addition to her TV gigs, over the years, Meara also appeared in Broadway and off-Broadway shows, per Playbill. In 1993, she was nominated for a Tony award for her role in a revival of Anna Christie. She really could do it all.

Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller had a sweet romance

Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara had a long marriage and a sweet courtship to boot. After Meara's death in 2015, Stiller opened up to Closer Weekly about how much he missed her. "There were no walls between us in any way. We both knew what the other was thinking even when we weren't listening," he said, which is likely what made them the perfect comedic duo. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, Stiller met Meara in New York City in the 1950s after she "burst out of his agent's office in tears after the man chased her around his desk." Stiller wrote in his 2000 memoir, Married to Laughter, that he "took the upset, "angel-faced" young woman to a coffee shop" where they talked about the "lecherous men of New York." 

The lovebirds immediately shared the same sense of humor. Stiller said that he asked to pick up the check for coffee and Meara had a strange request. Stiller told MSNBC in 2012, "She said, 'Forget about the check, pick up some silverware, stick it in your pocket and let's get the hell out of here.'" Meara said of the parting gift, "Of course he did it, he wanted to sleep with me." 

As made evident by their first meeting and subsequent 61 year marriage, Stiller and Meara were clearly meant to be together.