Following the sad news that legendary comedy actor Jerry Stiller has died, his former on-screen daughter Leah Remini has paid tribute to her King of Queens co-star. For all 9 Seasons of the classic CBS sitcom, Stiller played Arthur Spooner, the widowed father of Remini's Carrie Heffernan. Stiller's son, Ben Stiller, was the first to announce his father's passing.
In an Instagram post, Remini honored Stiller by writing, "I was lucky enough to work with Jerry Stiller, playing his daughter for 9 years on The King Of Queens, but even luckier to know him, the man, the husband, the father, the grandfather. I am only comforted knowing that Anne & Jerry, the great comedy duo of Stiller & Meara are back together. I will be forever grateful for the memories, the fatherly talks off screen and for the many years of laughter, the kindness he had shown to me and my family...You will be so very missed Jerry. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Amy & Ben." Along with her kind words, Remini also shared several photos of herself and Stiller.
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King of Queens star Kevin James also shared an emotional tribute to Stiller on Instagram. In a post featuring a photo of the pair, James wrote, "One of the most kind, loving, and funny people to ever grace this earth. Thank you for so many incredible memories. I love you and miss you. Requiescat in pace." Notably, Stiller had already retired from acting when James talked him into taking the role on King of Queens. "He literally begged me to be in this show. He kissed me. He hugged me. He said, 'I can't do it without you," Stiller previously shared. "I'm susceptible to praise." He later added, "This was an opportunity for me, for the first time, to test myself as an actor because I never saw myself as more than just a decent actor."
In his statement announcing his father's death, Ben wrote, "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's wife Anne — Ben's mother — passed away in 2015. In addition to Ben, Stiller leaves behind a daughter, Amy.