Jerry Stiller passed away yesterday and I did not find out until late in the evening.
I knew him growing up as George Costanza’s father on Seinfeld, and Carrie Heffernan’s father on The King of Queens, probably his two most well-known roles. But his body of work was larger than that, in both the scope of roles he took, and the amount of time he worked.
He got his break as far back as The Ed Sullivan Show, some appearances of which I’ve seen in reruns at my parents’ house. He appeared in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, a good movie I half-remember half-watching with my dad. He also apparently had a short role on The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, a not-good show that is one of my dad’s favorites from back in the day.
Obviously, I cannot do his career justice here because I have not seen most of it, and am an idiot.
But everywhere I’ve ever seen him, he’s always had the same amount of charisma and screen presence and effortless humor. He always seemed approachable as a person, even when he was screaming on-screen.
Suffice to say, I’ll miss having this guy in the world. I’ll close with this: