Anne Meara in 1975
|Died||May 23, 2015 85) (aged|
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Jerry Stiller (m. 1954)
|Children||2; including Ben Stiller|
Anne Meara (September 20, 1929 – May 23, 2015) was an American actress and comedian. Along with her husband Jerry Stiller, she was one-half of a prominent 1960s comedy team, Stiller and Meara. She also was featured on stage, in television, and in numerous films, and later she became a playwright.
Gerald Isaac Stiller is an American comedian and actor. He spent many years in the comedy team Stiller and Meara with his wife, Anne Meara. He later played Frank Costanza on the NBC sitcom Seinfeld and Arthur Spooner on the CBS comedy series The King of Queens. Stiller and Meara are the parents of actor Ben Stiller, with whom Stiller co-starred in the films Zoolander, Heavyweights, Hot Pursuit, The Heartbreak Kid and Zoolander 2. Stiller is known for his angry, yelling acting style.
Stiller and Meara were a husband-and-wife comedy duo that was popular primarily in the 1960s and 1970s. They made frequent appearances on television variety shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show.
During her career, Meara was nominated for four Emmy Awards and a Tony Award, and she won a Writers Guild Award as a co-writer for the TV movie The Other Woman .
The Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play is an honor presented at the Tony Awards, a ceremony established in 1947 as the Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Theatre, to actresses for quality supporting roles in a Broadway play. The awards are named after Antoinette Perry, an American actress who died in 1946. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the Tony Award Productions, a joint venture of The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, to "honor the best performances and stage productions of the previous year." Originally called the Tony Award for Actress, Supporting or Featured (Dramatic), it was later changed to its current title in 1976. Before 1956, nominees' names were not made public. The change was made by the awards committee to "have a greater impact on theatregoers".
The Other Woman is a 1983 American made-for-television romantic comedy film directed by Melville Shavelson. The film was originally broadcast on CBS. It was the only television film directed by Shavelson that he did not also write.
Meara was born in Brooklyn, New York,the daughter of parents of Irish descent, Mary (née Dempsey) and Edward Joseph Meara, a lawyer. An only child, she was raised in Rockville Centre, New York, on Long Island. When Anne was 11 years old, her mother committed suicide.
Rockville Centre is an incorporated village located in Nassau County, New York, in the United States. At the time of the 2010 census, the village had a total population of 24,023. It is in the southwestern section of the Town of Hempstead.
Long Island is a densely populated island that is a Suburb of New York City in the Northeastern United States, beginning at New York Harbor approximately 0.35 miles (0.56 km) from Manhattan Island and extending eastward into the Atlantic Ocean. The island comprises four counties in the U.S. state of New York. Kings and Queens Counties and Nassau County share the western third of the island, while Suffolk County occupies the eastern two-thirds. More than half of New York City's residents now live on Long Island, in Brooklyn and Queens. However, many people in the New York metropolitan area colloquially use the term Long Island to refer exclusively to Nassau and Suffolk Counties, which are mainly suburban in character, conversely employing the term the City to mean Manhattan alone.
When she was 18, Meara spent a year studying acting at the Dramatic Workshop at The New School and at HB Studiounder Uta Hagen in Manhattan. The following year, 1948, she began her career as an actress in summer stock.
The New School is a private non-profit research university centered in Manhattan, New York City, located mostly in Greenwich Village. It was founded in 1919 as The New School for Social Research with an original mission dedicated to academic freedom and intellectual inquiry and a home for progressive thinkers. Since then, the school has grown to house five divisions within the university. These include the Parsons School of Design, the Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, The New School for Social Research, the Schools of Public Engagement, the College of Performing Arts which consists of the Mannes School of Music, the School of Drama, and the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. In addition, the university maintains the Parsons Paris campus and has also launched or housed a range of institutions, such as the international research institute World Policy Institute, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, the India China Institute, the Observatory on Latin America, and the Center for New York City Affairs.
The HB Studio is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization offering professional training in the performing arts through classes, workshops, free lectures, theater productions, theater rentals, a theater artist residency program, as well as full-time study through their International Student Program and Uta Hagen Institute.
Uta Thyra Hagen was an American actress and theatre practitioner. She originated the role of Martha in the 1962 Broadway premiere of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee. Because Hagen was on the Hollywood blacklist, in part because of her association with Paul Robeson, her film opportunities dwindled and she focused her career on New York theatre.
Meara met actor-comedian Jerry Stiller in 1953, and they married in 1955, after a two-year relationship. Until he suggested it, she had never thought of doing comedy. "Jerry started us being a comedy team," she said. "He always thought I would be a great comedy partner."They joined the Chicago improvisational company The Compass Players (which later became The Second City), and after leaving, formed the comedy team of Stiller and Meara. In 1961, they were performing in nightclubs in New York, and by the following year were considered a "national phenomenon", said the New York Times.
The Second City is an improvisational comedy enterprise, best known as the historically first on-going improvisational theater troupe, continually based in Chicago. It also has training programs and live theatres in Toronto and Los Angeles. The Second City Theatre opened on December 16, 1959, and has since become one of the most influential and prolific comedy theatres in the world.
Their often improvised comedy routines brought many of their relationship foibles to live audiences. Their skits focused on domestic themes, as did Nichols and May, another comedy team during that period from the Chicago Compass Players project. "They were Nichols and May without the acid and with warmth," notes author Lawrence Epstein.They also added a new twist to their comedy act, he adds, by sometimes playing up the fact that Stiller was Jewish and Meara was Catholic. After Nichols and May broke up as a team in 1961, Stiller and Meara were the number-one couple comedy team by the late 1960s. And as Mike Nichols and Elaine May were not married, Stiller and Meara became the most famous married couple comedy team since Burns and Allen.
Nichols and May was a Grammy Award-winning American improvisational comedy duo act developed by Mike Nichols (1931-2014) and Elaine May. Their three comedy albums reached the Billboard Top 40 between 1959 and 1962. Many comedians have cited them as key influences in modern comedy. “You can't get any better than they were," TV host Dick Cavett remembered, "They were one of the comic meteors in the sky.”
Mike Nichols was an American film and theater director, producer, actor, and comedian. He was noted for his ability to work across a range of genres and an aptitude for getting the best out of actors regardless of their experience. Nichols began his career in the 1950s with the comedy improvisational troupe The Compass Players, predecessor of The Second City, in Chicago. He then teamed up with his improv partner, Elaine May, to form the comedy duo Nichols and May. Their live improv act was a hit on Broadway, and the first of their three albums won a Grammy Award.
Elaine Iva May is an American screenwriter, film director, actress, and comedienne. She made her initial impact in the 1950s from her improvisational comedy routines with Mike Nichols, performing as Nichols and May. After her duo with Nichols ended, May subsequently developed a career as a director and screenwriter.
After some years honing the act, Stiller and Meara became regulars on The Ed Sullivan Show , with 36 appearances,and other TV programs, including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson . They released their first LP in 1963, Presenting America's New Comedy Sensation: Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara Live at The Hungry I , which became a hit. By 1970, however, they broke up their act because it was affecting their marriage: "I didn't know where the act ended and our marriage began," complained Meara in 1977. Stiller agreed, fearing, "I would have lost her as a wife."
During the 1970s, Meara and Stiller wrote and performed many radio commercials together for Blue Nun Wine. She had a recurring role on the sitcom Rhoda as airline stewardess Sally Gallagher, one of the title character's best friends. She also had a small role as Mrs. Curry opposite Laurence Olivier in The Boys from Brazil (1978).
In 1975, she starred in her own series Kate McShane on CBS, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award (1976 Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series), but the series was cancelled after 10 episodes.
Meara provided voice-overs for some short clips from silent films on Sesame Street.
Meara costarred with Carroll O'Connor and Martin Balsam in the early 1980s hit sitcom Archie Bunker's Place , which was a continuation of the influential 1970s sitcom All in the Family . She played the role of Veronica Rooney, the bar's cook, for the show's first three seasons (1979–1982). During that time, she acted in the movie Fame (1980), in which she played English teacher Elizabeth Sherwood.She also appeared as the grandmother in the TV series ALF in the late 1980s. The Stiller and Meara Show , her own 1986 TV sitcom, in which Stiller played the deputy mayor of New York City and Meara portrayed his wife, a television commercial actress, was unsuccessful. From 1999 to 2007, Meara guest starred on The King of Queens (where her husband played Arthur Spooner), first as Mary Finnegan, then as Veronica Olchin (mother of Spence, who was played by Patton Oswalt). Veronica and Arthur were married in the series finale, but divorced a year later.
Starting in October 2010, Meara and her husband Jerry Stiller began starring in a Yahoo! web series called Stiller & Meara produced by Red Hour Digital, a production company owned by their son Ben Stiller.
She accepted a role in the off-Broadway play Love, Loss, and What I Wore with Conchata Ferrell, AnnaLynne McCord, Minka Kelly, and B. Smith. [ citation needed ]She taught a technique and scene study class at HB Studio until her death.
In 1995, Meara wrote the comedy After-Play, which became an off-Broadway production.In her later years, she portrayed recurring roles on the television shows Sex and the City (as Mary Brady) and The King of Queens (as Veronica Olchin). During the 2004–05 season, she appeared in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit .
She was the consulting director of J.A.P. – The Jewish American Princesses of Comedy, a 2007 off-Broadway production that featured live stand-up routines by four female Jewish comics juxtaposed with the stories of legendary performers from the 1950s and 1960s: Totie Fields, Jean Carroll, Pearl Williams, Betty Walker, and Belle Barth.[ citation needed ]
In 2009, Meara wrote her personal life reflections in a New York-focused online blog, titled Mr. Beller's Neighborhood -- New York City Stories. In it, Meara recalled her mother's death and her childhood experiences at Catholic boarding school.
Meara was born, baptised and raised a Roman Catholic. She converted to Judaism six years after marrying Stiller.She insisted that she did not convert at Stiller's request, explaining, "Catholicism was dead to me." She took her conversion seriously and studied the Jewish faith in such depth that her Jewish-born husband quipped, "Being married to Anne has made me more Jewish." They discussed how they met and their early career during a guest appearance on the TV game show What's My Line? in 1968.
Together, Meara and her husband had two children, Amy (born 1961) and Ben (born 1965).
Meara died on May 23, 2015, at her home in Manhattan at the age of 85, having suffered multiple strokes.
Sources: TCM;AllMovie; Film Reference
|1970||The Out-of-Towners||Woman in Police Station|
|1970||Lovers and Other Strangers||Wilma|
|1972||Irish Whiskey Rebellion||Goldie Fain-Follies Star|
|1977||Nasty Habits||Sister Geraldine|
|1978||The Boys from Brazil||Mrs. Curry|
|1984||In Our Hands||Documentary|
|1986||The Perils of P.K.|
|1987||My Little Girl||Mrs. Shopper|
|1989||That's Adequate||Charlene Lane|
|1992||Through an Open Window||24-minute short|
|1992||Highway to Hell||Medea|
|1993||So You Want to Be an Actor||Herself||Short subject|
|1994||The Search for One-Eye Jimmy||Holly Hoyt|
|1995||Kiss of Death||Bev's Mother|
|1996||The Daytrippers||Rita Malone|
|1998||The Thin Pink Line||Mrs. Langstrom|
|1999||The Diary of the Hurdy-Gurdy Man|
|1999||Brooklyn Thrill Killers||29-minute short|
|1999||A Fish in the Bathtub||Molly|
|2000||Amy Stiller's Breast||Herself||Short subject|
|2001||Keeping It Real: The Adventures of Greg Walloch||Documentary|
|2001||Get Well Soon||Linda|
|2002||Like Mike||Sister Theresa|
|2002||The Yard Sale||19-minute short|
|2003||Crooked Lines||Hard Boiled|
|2004||Chump Change||Casting Director|
|2006||Night at the Museum||Debbie|
|2007||The Shallow End of the Ocean||Voice of Alice||28-minute short|
|2008||Sex and the City: The Movie|
|2009||When the Evening Comes||Marion Corrado|
|2009||The Queen of Greenwich Village||13-minute short|
|2009||Another Harvest Moon||Ella|
|2014||Simpler Times||33-minute short with Jerry Stiller|
|2014||Planes: Fire & Rescue||Winnie||Voice (last role where she was partnered with Jerry Stiller, playing Harvey)|
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Sources: Film Reference;TV.com
|1954–1955||The Greatest Gift||Harriet|
|1954||The Philco Television Playhouse||Betty Blake||Episode: "Man on the Mountaintop"|
|1959||The DuPont Show of the Month||Episode: "Oliver Twist"|
|1960||Ninotchka||Anna||ABC TV movie|
|1964–1965||Linus! The Lion Hearted||Animated TV series, 3 episodes|
|1971||Dames at Sea||Joan||TV adaptation of stage musical (Nov. 15, 1971)|
|1971, 1972||The Courtship of Eddie's Father||Bunny Sterling / Annie Dempsey||2 episodes|
|1971, 1973||Love, American Style||2 episodes|
|1973||The Paul Lynde Show||Grace Dickerson||3 episodes|
|1973||The Corner Bar||Mae / Jennifer Bradley||Cast member, 7 episodes|
|1974||Medical Center||Rose Miller||Episode: "The Enemies"|
|1975||Kate McShane||Kate McShane||Cancelled after 10 episodes|
|1976–1977||Rhoda||Sally Gallagher||7 episodes|
|1977–1978||Take Five with Stiller & Meara|
|1979, 1981, 1983||Love Boat||3 episodes|
|1979–1982||Archie Bunker's Place||Veronica Rooney||52 episodes|
|1979–1982||HBO Sneak Previews||Costarred with Jerry Stiller|
|1983||The Other Woman||Peg Gilford||TV movie (CBS); Meara co-wrote the teleplay with Lila Garrett|
|1986||The Stiller and Meara Show||Canceled after a few weeks, cast member and co-writer|
|1987–1989||ALF||Dorothy Halligan||Appeared in 7 episodes; wrote one episode in 1989|
|1987–1989||CBS Schoolbreak Special||Mrs. Salters||Episode: "The Day They Came to Arrest the Book"|
|1988, 1993||Murder, She Wrote||Winnie Tupper Banner / Mae Shaughnessy||2 episodes|
|1990||Monsters||Episode: "One Wolf's Family"|
|1991||The General Motors Playwrights Theater||Rose Finker||Episode: "Avenue Z Afternoon"|
|1991||American Playhouse||"The Sunset Gang" (4/5/91); Bernice Shapiro in segment "The Detective"|
|1992–1999||All My Children||Peggy Moody||5 episodes|
|1992–1999||CBS Schoolbreak Special||Patricia Lennon||Episode: "Love off Limits"|
|1994||In the Heat of the Night||Roda||Episode: "Poor Relations"|
|1994||Great Performances : The Mother||Mrs. Geegan||PBS TV movie, Oct. 24, 1994|
|1994||Murphy Brown||Reena Bernecky||2 episodes|
|1996||Homicide: Life on the Street||Donna DiGrazi||2 episodes|
|1999||After Play||Writer and cast member|
|1999, 2002||Oz||Aunt Brenda O'Reily||2 episodes|
|1999, 2003–2007||The King of Queens||Mary Finnegan (1999) / Veronica Olchin (2003-07)||10 episodes|
|2001||What Makes a Family||Evelyn Cataldi||TV movie (Lifetime)|
|2001||Ed||Barbara Gennacarro||Episode: "The Test"|
|2001||Will & Grace||Mrs. Friedman||Episode: "Star-Spangled Banter"|
|2002–2004||Sex and the City||Mary Brady||4 episodes|
|2003||Good Morning, Miami||Claire's Friend||Episode: "The Slow and the Furious"|
|2003||Charlie Lawrence||Pauline Lawrence, Charlie's Mother||Episode: "If It's Not One Thing It's Your Mother"|
|2004–2012||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Irene Kerns / Ida Becker||2 episodes|
|2006||Four Kings||Ruth||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2009||Mercy||Estelle Thalberg||Episode: "The Last Thing I Said Was"|
|2009–2010||Wonder Pets!||Granny Jenny / Linny's Grandmother||2 episodes|
|2010||Gravity||Mrs. Talbot||Episode: "Old People Creep Me Out"|
|2011||Rip City||Myrt||TVLand sitcom pilot that did not sell|
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