Two days after the death of his mother, comedienne and actress Anne Meara, Ben Stiller took to Twitter to thank fans and friends for their support and to pay tribute to Anne.
“Thank you so much for all of the kind words about Anne. All of us in our family feel so lucky to have had her in our lives,” Stiller tweeted early Monday. He is currently in Italy with his wife filming for Zoolander 2. Jerry and Meara both appeared with him in the first film, which premiered in 2001.
Several actors and fellow comedians also took to Twitter to share kind words about Meara and show their support. Bob Saget, Samuel L. Jackson, James Woods and Sarah Silverman were among the many.
Meara died Saturday at the age of 85 of natural causes, as reported by Washington Post. Stiller and his father, actor Jerry Stiller, shared the news in a statement Sunday. The statement to the Associated Press revealed that she passed away Saturday night and that she is survived by her husband and “partner in life” Jerry Stiller.
Along with Ben and Jerry, Meara is survived by her daughter Amy and several grandchildren. The Stiller family said in the statement that Meara’s “memory lives on in the hearts” of her family, friends and millions of fans, according to CBS News.
Meara was born in Brooklyn in 1929. She studied under acting coach Uta Hagen and aspired to become a “serious actor.” And then Jerry Stiller came along. She probably never expected to become one half of the famous comedy duo “Stiller & Meara.”
The two met at a casting agency in the 1950s. Meara was upset because she had endured some sexual harassment from a casting agent. Stiller offered to take her for coffee, and instead of paying for it, Meara asked Stiller to steal some silverware.
When she told the story on MSNBC’s Morning Joe in 2012, she was asked if he stole the silverware. She said he did and added “He wanted to sleep with me.” And ever since, they have transmitted the magic in their relationship to the world.
They were married for 61 years and remained each other’s greatest fans through it all. Their chemistry radiated on and off screen, and they had one of the best long-lasting romances in show business.
Though they started out together, the two pursued individual careers. Stiller told People Magazine in 1977 that if he had depended on Meara for his professional career, he would have “lost her as a wife.”
Meara is known for her roles on All my Children, Archie Bunker’s Place, Love Boat, ALF, Rhoda, Kate McShane and other shows. More recently, she had a recurring role on Sex and the City, she starred opposite her husband in The King of Queens and she appeared alongside her son in Night at the Museum.