Jerry Stiller (born Gerald Stiller on June 8, 1927) is an American comedian and actor. Born in New York City, he is the only child of William Stiller, the New York born son of Austrian-Jewish immigrants, and Bella Citrin, a Russian-Jewish immigrant. A drama major at Syracuse University, he gained a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Drama before making his 1951 acting debut on stage with Burgess Meredith in The Silver Whistle.
After some time spent as a stock actor, Stiller first became nationally known as half of the comedy duo "Stiller and Meara". His partner Anne Meara was also his wife (since 1954), whom he had met while both were part of the improvisational team "The Compass Players" (which would later become "The Second City"), and the pair brought many of their real-life relationship foibles to bear on their often-improvised comedy routines. After some years honing the act, Stiller and Meara became regulars on The Ed Sullivan Show and other TV programs. In real life, Stiller and Meara have been married for over 40 years.
Stiller continued to perform and write through the decades, often in television guest roles as well as occasional dramatic appearances on television and stage. Beginning in the 1990s his career experienced a resurgence with a recurring role as George Costanza's father Frank in the situation comedy Seinfeld from 1993 to 1998 and as the very similar character of Arthur Spooner in the situation comedy The King of Queens from 1998 to the present.
Stiller and Meara are the parents of actor Ben Stiller (with whom he co-starred in the movie Zoolander) and actress Amy Stiller.
Stiller wrote the foreword to the book Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us (ISBN 0446696749) by Allen Salkin, released on October 26, 2005, and appears in the intro and outro of the Rush 30th Anniversary Tour and on the band's DVD R30 Live In Frankfurt.
Along with his wife, Stiller has spoken publicly about undergoing therapy to treat clinical depression.