Jerry Stiller honored by ‘Seinfeld’ costars: ‘A great actor, a great man’
Hollywood offered its love and condolences to Ben Stiller on Monday after the actor announced the death of his father, veteran actor-comedian and “Seinfeld” stalwart Jerry Stiller.
Both “Seinfeld” and “King of Queens” alumni honored Jerry Stiller on social media, paying tribute to their “lovely,” “funny” and “beloved” former costar, who died of natural causes at age 92.
“Such sad news that my beloved friend, Jerry Stiller, has passed,” wrote Jason Alexander, who played Stiller’s TV son, George Costanza, on “Seinfeld.” “He was perhaps the kindest man I ever had the honor to work beside. He made me laugh when I was a child and every day I was with him. A great actor, a great man, a lovely friend. #RIPJerryStiller I Love you.”
Such sad news that my beloved friend, Jerry Stiller, has passed. He was perhaps the kindest man I ever had the honor to work beside. He made me laugh when I was a child and every day I was with him. A great actor, a great man, a lovely friend. #RIPJerryStiller I Love you.— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) May 11, 2020
Jerry Seinfeld saluted the TV icon simply by sharing a photo of himself holding the comedy album “Ed Sullivan Presents the Last Two People in the World,” by Jerry Stiller and his late wife, comic Anne Meara.
“Jerry Stiller’s comedy will live forever,” he added in a follow-up tweet.
In wake of Stiller’s death, blooper footage of him causing Alexander and Julia Louis-Dreyfus to break down in laughter while delivering his lines as the perpetually grumpy Frank Costanza has gone viral. And Louis-Dreyfus, a.k.a. Elaine, cited the video as just one example of the joy Stiller brought to set.
“The truth is that this happened all the time with Jerry Stiller,” she said, sharing the clip. “He was so funny and such a dear human being. We loved him.”
The truth is that this happened all the time with Jerry Stiller. He was so funny and such a dear human being. We loved him. RIP Jerry Stiller.https://t.co/kXL14zMKeX— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) May 11, 2020
On Instagram, Stiller was mourned by actors Leah Remini and Kevin James, who played Stiller’s daughter and son-in-law, respectively, on “The King of Queens.”
“I was lucky enough to work with Jerry Stiller, playing his daughter for 9 years on The King Of Queens, but even luckier to know him, the man, the husband, the father, the grandfather,” Remini wrote. “I am only comforted knowing that Anne & Jerry, the great comedy duo of Stiller & Meara are back together. I will be forever grateful for the memories, the fatherly talks off screen and for the many years of laughter, the kindness he had shown to me and my family... You will be so very missed Jerry.”
“One of the most kind, loving, and funny people to ever grace this earth,” James added. “Thank you for so many incredible memories. I love you and miss you. Requiescat in pace.”
Others, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ricky Gervais, Jeffrey Wright, Jon Cryer and Josh Gad, offered their condolences to Ben Stiller on social media.
“Sending you love, Ben,” “Hamilton” mastermind Miranda wrote in response to Ben Stiller’s tweet. “What a giant. So grateful for him, and Anne [Meara], and you.”
Sending you love, Ben. What a giant. So grateful for him, and Anne, and you. ❤️❤️❤️— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) May 11, 2020
“Frozen” star Gad celebrated one of Stiller’s most enduring “Seinfeld” contributions: “Festivus,” the anti-holiday coined by author Dan O’Keefe and observed each year by devoted fans of the ‘90s sitcom to this day.
“My heart goes out to [Ben Stiller] & his entire family on this very difficult loss,” Gad tweeted. “Thank you Jerry for your brilliant comedic prowess. There was nobody who quite turned a phrase like #JerryStiller & few who got to create a holiday iconically linked to them. Happy eternal Festivus.”
My heart goes out to @RedHourBen & his entire family on this very difficult loss. Thank you Jerry for your brilliant comedic prowess. There was nobody who quite turned a phrase like #JerryStiller & few who got to create a holiday iconically linked to them. Happy eternal Festivus https://t.co/qDb9fFvrHB— Josh Gad (@joshgad) May 11, 2020
And several, like “Westworld” actor Wright, saluted Stiller’s off-screen presence, as well as his on-screen influence.
“Such a funny man(!) but even lovelier than he was funny,” Wright tweeted. “Condolences to your family and you, Ben.”
Such a funny man(!) but even lovelier than he was funny.— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) May 11, 2020
Condolences to your family and you, Ben.
See more reactions to Stiller’s death below.
Thanks so much for the incredible outpouring of love and appreciation for Jerry. I know how much it would mean to him. And he would have loved this beautifully written obit in the @nytimes. https://t.co/s1PwUkX0qh— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) May 11, 2020
Yeah. I adored this man. pic.twitter.com/4YiaTLJh4C— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) May 11, 2020
So sorry for your loss, Ben.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) May 11, 2020
I’m so sorry to hear this. He was so loved.— Jon Cryer (@MrJonCryer) May 11, 2020
So sorry to hear this - your Dad made me laugh so much ❤️— Ike Barinholtz (@ikebarinholtz) May 11, 2020
I am so sorry to hear this. Your father was a sweet man. He will Rest In Peace & Love. 🙏🏼— Kristy Swanson (@KristySwansonXO) May 11, 2020
I had the honor of working with your Dad on “TKOQ”. After the table read, I was canned & your father talked to the producers & got me my job back. When I thanked him, he said, “Hey, it’s not Shakespeare!” A class act & a legend. What a gift to the world. Deepest condolences. pic.twitter.com/Uynoyoj20M— Parry Shen (@parryshen) May 11, 2020
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