Jerry Seinfeld was among the many people mourning actor Jerry Stiller on Monday morning after the actor's death was announced. Stiller had a long and illustrious career in Hollywood, including a recurring and memorable role on Seinfeld. After his passing was announced on Monday, Seinfeld posted a tribute to Stiller on Instagram.
Stiller was known to many TV fans as Frank Costanza, the ill-tempered father of George (Jason Alexander) making several appearances on the sitcom throughout the 1990s. By then he was already a legend, however, as Seinfeld acknowledged with his Instagram post on Monday. Rather than posting a throwback to his own show, Seinfeld shared a photo of himself holding a record titled The Last Two People in the World — part of Stiller's comedy act with his late wife Anne Meara. He presented the memory with no caption.
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Stiller and Meara functioned as a comedy duo throughout the 1960s and '70s, performing skits together on The Ed Sullivan Show and other variety programs during that era. The record Seinfeld held in his picture was originally released in 1967, and featured 36 minutes of skits and parodies performed by the couple. It is available to stream with an Amazon Music subscription.
Seinfeld's post picked up over 57,000 likes in under an hour, and plenty of comments as well. Many mourned Stiller along with Seinfeld, and thanked him for pointing out an earlier part of Stiller's legacy rather than the more obvious nod to his own sitcom.
Stiller's son, actor Ben Stillm announced his father's passing on Monday morning. He tweeted: "I'm sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, passed away from natural causes. He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years. He will be greatly missed. Love you Dad."
Stiller was 92 years old at the time of his death. Meara died in 2015 at the age of 85, after suffering multiple strokes. In addition to Ben, the couple shared daughter Amy.
While Seinfeld paid deference to the earlier part of Stiller's career, Stiller himself was never shy about admitting that Seinfeld helped get him a resurgence in the mainstream. In a 2005 interview with Esquire, he noted that Seinfeld led to a number of other prominent roles, including his casting as the snarky father on King of Queens. "I was close to 70 years old and I had nowhere to go. I get this chance on Seinfeld. I hadn't even seen the show," he recalled.