Anne Meara, the 85 year old Emmy- and Tony-nominated comedian, sadly passed away last Saturday. Meara was the wife of Jerry Stiller, and mother of Ben Stiller. Jerry and Anne were a top comedy act in the 1960’s, appearing on “The Ed Sullivan Show” many times. Meara and Stiller were a part of an improv group called the Compass Players, which later became Second City. In 2010 the couple had their own Yahoo comedy series, “Stiller & Meara,” produced in part by their son, Ben.
Although she was featured in many different comedy acts, Meara was also a serious actress who received a Tony nomination in 1993 for best featured actress in a play for her work in a production of Eugene O’Neill’s “Anna Christie” that starred Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson.
Additionally, in 1984, Meara shared a Writers Guild Award for writing the television movie “The Other Woman” about a widower who thinks about becoming romantically involved with his daughter’s sexy roommate but in the end finds love with a woman played by Meara.
The actress recurred on many different television series such as “Sex and the City”, “Will & Grace”, “Law and Order: SVU”, HBO’s “Oz”, “All My Children”, “King of Queens”, and “Archie Bunker’s Place” from which she received two Emmy nominations. Meara also starred in her own short series on NBC called “Kate McShane,” in which she played an attorney who solves mysteries. Altogether, she received four Emmy nominations from her television career. Meara also had a long career in movies, both with her family and without. She starred alongside her husband and children in many films, as well as prominent actors such as Mark Ruffalo, and Robin Williams.
In addition to her television and movie roles, she also took great pride in her work on the stage. She wrote and starred in many different plays off-Broadway, and made her Broadway debut in 1956. Meara won an Obie for the 1955 Off Broadway production “Madchen in Uniform.”
The family statement said: “Anne’s memory lives on in the hearts of daughter Amy, son Ben, her grandchildren, her extended family and friends, and the millions she entertained as an actress, writer and comedienne.“