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Anne Meara, Comic Actress and Jerry Stiller's Wife, Dies at 85

Image: Anne Meara, Comic Actress and Jerry Stiller's Wife, Dies at 85
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By    |   Tuesday, 26 May 2015 09:17 AM

Anne Meara, the comic actress who was married to Jerry Stiller, died over the weekend in New York City. She was 85.

Meara died Saturday of natural causes, The Washington Post reported.

She rose to fame with her husband in the 1960s in the stand-up act called Stiller and Meara on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Later, the pair made their TV debuts together on shows and commercials, most notably for the white wine Blue Nun.

Meara was nominated for five Emmy awards throughout her career, including her role as the cook Veronica on “Archie Bunker’s Place.”

In addition to acting, Meara also wrote comic plays, the Los Angeles Times noted. “After-Play,” written in 1995, was once described by a New York Times critic as “the perfect New York comedy to attend before going out to dine with dear old friends from Los Angeles.”

Born an only child to attorney Edward Joseph Meara and his wife Mary Dempsey Meara on Sept. 20, 1929, the actress lost her mother at an early age. She was raised in New York and graduated from St. Agnes High School.

With aspirations of becoming a serious actress, Meara studied with renowned instructor Uta Hagen, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“I was a dedicated, boring student,” Meara once said in an interview. “The last thing I wanted was to be a comedienne.”

After eight years of struggling on their own, Stiller and Meara teamed together.

While they're generally depicted bickering and criticizing one another over their differences —Meara was tall and Irish Catholic (though she later converted to Judaism) and Stiller is short and Jewish — the two were happily married for 61 years.

Stiller wrote in his 2000 memoir “Married to Laughter" that they met in 1953 while in New York searching for work. Upset after leaving an agent’s office, Stiller took the “angel-faced” woman to a coffee shop and, at the end, she asked Stiller to take the silverware.

“I lived in the Village and my roommate, Joyce Arbuckle and me, we needed another set of silverware,” Meara said in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in 2012, according to The Post. “Of course he did. He wanted to sleep with me.”

In addition to her husband, Meara leaves behind her son, actor Ben Stiller, and daughter Amy.

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Anne Meara, the comic actress who was married to Jerry Stiller, died over the weekend in New York City. She was 85.
anne meara, dies, jerry stiller, ben stiller
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2015-17-26
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 09:17 AM
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