Ben Stiller | Early beginnings

Ben Stiller was born and bred into comedy. His parents were buzzed-about comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, and they weren't shy about introducing the world of entertainment to their son. At a young age, Stiller and his sister Amy would dress up in her tights to perform Shakespeare renditions at home. As Stiller grew older, he turned to the stage and studied the craft at UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. He had always been a fan of Tom Cruise. Obsessed, even. At the time, he spoofed Cruise's role in sports drama "The Color of Money" (1986), which garnered the attention of "Saturday Night Live," and ultimately led to Stiller's year-long gig on the show. Since then, the New York native has starred in a legion of comedy features -- romantic, crime and sports-driven. Here we recap a portion of Stiller's onscreen work through the years. By Christy Khoshaba
Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times
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