Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, with one of the longest marriages in Hollywood, ironically built their early comedy act on all the reasons they should never have been together in the first place. The short, hyperbolic Jewish man and tall Irish-Catholic woman came from completely different backgrounds, but found each other in the 1950s through stand-up comedy and became a successful working duo on radio and television.
They'd met at the Second City comedy troupe, quickly married and started working coffeehouses and clubs together. They also wrote, produced and performed in a number of award-winning radio commercials for Blue Nun wine, United Van Lines and Amalgamated Bank.
They appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” a whopping 36 times in the 1960s. The demise of variety shows in the '70s meant less work for the comedy team, and they began performing separately.
Stiller, who published an autobiography in 2000 called “Married to Laughter,” has worked extensively in television, notably as George Costanza's bellowing father in “Seinfeld” and Arthur Spooner on “King of Queens” and in his son Ben Stiller's movies such as “Zoolander” and “The Heartbreak Kid.”
Meara, a Tony Award nominee for her theater work, also had TV roles on “Sex and the City,” “King of Queens,” “Law and Order: SVU” and “Oz.” The couple also has a daughter, actress Amy Stiller.
Meara died May 23, 2015, in New York City. She was 85.