Remembering Comedic Actress Anne Meara


Actress and mother of Ben Stiller, Anne Meara, died at the age of 85. Family and friends are remembering the comedic actress, Meara, for her lovable, classy, and funny personality on and off camera.

Her death was announced by the Stiller’s on Sunday to the Associated Press. The family has stated that Meara will continue to live in their hearts and be remembered by everyone she entertained and loved dearly, including her grandchildren, extended family members, and friends.

Many are remembering comedic actress Meara as a gorgeous Irish redhead, who was two years younger and four inches taller than her Jewish husband, Jerry Stiller. The two were both from New York, she was born September 20, 1929 in Brooklyn, New York, but was raised and attended high school in Rockville Centre, New York. However, before marrying Stiller, the Irish actress was already well-known for performing in various acting shops. At the age of 23, the comedic actress, was chased around her agents office for responding to a cat call in New York when she burst out the door crying and met her future husband  Stiller, who was 25 at the time. Stiller reminisced on taking her out for coffee that same day, since he too was an actor out of work, and he thought he would hang out with her. When they went out for coffee, she assumed he had no money, and took silver ware from the coffeehouse, Ben recalled. He also remembered them being married a few months later. Additionally, Meara worked with Stiller’s father for 61 years. Together they had two children known as actor and actress Ben and Amy Stiller.

Fans loved the married couple, but it was a little shaky off camera due to it being a mixed marriage within their families and close friends. Meara has often stated in many interviews that their marriage was not supported by anyone, but that did not stop the two from being head over hills in love for one another. Over time their marriage was accepted.

The two struggled after the birth of their first born, Amy, especially since their was little work within the theater, and the improv skits the two would do together made it hard to maintain the bills. This led the new parents to start doing odd jobs in their own lives to make ends meet. Usually, at the end of the month they created  routines that landed them gigs in coffeehouses, and New York clubs. After lots of dedication, Meara and Stiller got their break in 1963, with the Ed Sullivan Show. 

She began working with Stiller once they got married and they were known as being fearless, angry, and witty, acting out scenes as a married couple in The Ed Sullivan Show, and other shows of the 1960s. They won many awards when working together on T.V. commercials and radio programs. The Irish redhead also had a solo career where she made appearances in dozens of films and television shows such as RhodaThe Kings of Queens, and Alf. She has also played a role in a couple of big screen scenes with her son.

The Irish redhead is also known for her repetitive roles on CBS shows, Murphy Brown and Kate McShane, where she played the first role as a women lawyer on television, she also made appearances on the HBO series, Sex and the City.

Meara was nominated for an Emmy Award for her role in Archie Bunkers Place, along with two other Emmy’s.  She has also won a Writers Guild award for being the co-writer, for the 1983 T.V. movie, The Other Women.

Marriage, acting, and raising two children kept the actress constantly on the go. However when remembered by family and friends, Meara was spunky, and known as to never let anything stop her from accomplishing her goals, or taking care of her family.

By Krystle Mitchell


Newsweek: Comedian Anne Meara, of Stiller and Meara, Dies at 85

Newsday: Anne Meara dead; Comedian, Long Island, mother and wife, at age 85

CNN: Anne Meara way more than Ben Stiller’s Mother

Photo Courtesy of DCVirago’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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