Actress and Comedienne Anne Meara Has Died at 85

Illustration for article titled Actress and Comedienne Anne Meara Has Died at 85

Sad news out of New York City this evening: Anne Meara, actress, comedienne, wife of Jerry Stiller and mom of Ben Stiller, has died at 85, reports the New York Times.

Meara first made waves in the 50s, when she broke out onto the standup comedy scene alongside Jerry Stiller via The Ed Sullivan Show, an opportunity that helped put Anne on the map and launched the start of what turned out to be a very storied, varied and accomplished career.

She appeared in such films as “The Out-of-Towners,” ‘’Fame,” ‘’Awakenings” and, directed by her son, “Reality Bites.”

Meara was twice nominated for an Emmy Award for her supporting role on “Archie Bunker’s Place,” along with two other Emmy nods, most recently in 1997 for her guest-starring role on “Homicide.” She won a Writers Guild Award for co-writing the 1983 TV movie “The Other Woman.”

She also appeared in dozens of films and TV shows, including a longtime role on “All My Children” and appearances on “Rhoda,” ‘’Alf” and “The King of Queens.” She shared the screen with her son in 2006’s “Night at the Museum.”

Meara also had a recurring role on CBS’ “Murphy Brown” and on HBO’s “Sex and the City.” In 1975, she starred in CBS’ “Kate McShane,” which, though short-lived, had the distinction of being the first network drama to feature a woman lawyer.

She made her off-Broadway debut in 1971 in John Guare’s award-winning play “The House of Blue Leaves.” A quarter-century later, she made her off-Broadway bow as a playwright with her comedy-drama, “After-Play.”


In addition to Ben and Jerry, she leaves a daughter, Amy, and several grandchildren.

Image via Getty

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Lady Hazel of Wassername

She was a talented and very funny lady. She had the kind of career longevity that others can only dream of. Even if she wasn’t a household name to younger generations, she deserved to be, and for much more than just being Jerry Stiller’s wife and Ben Stiller’s mom.

On that note though, I am always impressed when couples stay together as long as she and Jerry, especially in the entertainment industry. It's quite a feat, on top of all the other amazing stuff she did in her lifetime. Sad to see her go.