Meara in 1975.
September 20, 1929 |
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Jerry Stiller (1954–present)|
|Children||Ben Stiller (1965)
Amy Stiller (1961)
Anne Meara (born September 20, 1929) is an American actress and comedian. She and Jerry Stiller were a prominent 1960s comedy team, appearing as Stiller and Meara, and are the parents of actor and comedian Ben and actress Amy Stiller.
Meara was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Irish immigrant parents, Mary (née Dempsey) and Edward Joseph Meara, a lawyer. Meara was raised in Roman Catholicism, and converted to Reform Judaism six years after marrying Stiller. She has long stressed that she did not convert at Stiller's request, but because "Catholicism was dead to me." She took the conversion seriously and studied the faith in such depth that her Jewish-born husband quipped, "Being married to Anne has made me more Jewish."
Meara has written about her mother's death and her childhood experiences at Catholic boarding school.
Meara has been married to Stiller since 1954. Both were members of the improvisational company The Compass Players (which later became The Second City), and the pair, as the comedy team Stiller and Meara, brought many of their real-life relationship foibles to bear on their often-improvised comedy routines. After some years honing the act, Stiller and Meara became regulars on The Ed Sullivan Show and other TV programs. Their career declined, however, as variety series gradually disappeared.
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 opposite Laurence Olivier in The Boys from Brazil (1978).
In 1975 she starred in her own series Kate McShane on CBS, which she was nominated for an Emmy Award, but the series was cancelled after only 10 episodes.
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 also worked in the movie Fame, in which she played English teacher, Elizabeth Sherwood. She also appeared as the grandmother in the TV series ALF in the late 1980s. Her own 1986 TV sitcom, The Stiller and Meara Show, in which Stiller played the deputy mayor of New York City and Meara portrayed his wife, a television commercial actress, was unsuccessful.
More recently, she has had recurring roles on the television shows Sex and the City (as Mary Brady) and The King of Queens (as Veronica). In the 2004-'05 season, she appeared in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
She is the consulting director of J.A.P. - The Jewish American Princesses of Comedy, a 2007 Off-Broadway production that features 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.
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 currently teaches a technique and scene study class at HB Studio.
- The Out-of-Towners (1970)
- Lovers and Other Strangers (1970)
- Irish Whiskey Rebellion (1972)
- Nasty Habits (1977)
- The Boys from Brazil (1978)
- Fame (1980)
- In Our Hands (1984) (documentary)
- The Longshot (1986)
- The Perils of P.K. (1986)
- My Little Girl (1987)
- That's Adequate (1989)
- Awakenings (1990)
- Through an Open Window (1992) (short subject)
- Highway to Hell (1992)
- So You Want to Be an Actor (1993) (short subject)
- Reality Bites (1994)
- The Search for One-Eye Jimmy (1994)
- Heavyweights (1995)
- Kiss of Death (1995)
- The Daytrippers (1996)
- The Thin Pink Line (1998)
- Southie (1998)
- The Diary of the Hurdy-Gurdy Man (1999)
- Judy Berlin (1999)
- Brooklyn Thrill Killers (1999) (short subject)
- A Fish in the Bathtub (1999)
- Amy Stiller's Breast (2000) (short subject)
- The Independent (2000)
- Zoolander (2001)
- Keeping It Real: The Adventures of Greg Walloch (2001) (documentary)
- Get Well Soon (2001)
- Like Mike (2002)
- The Yard Sale (2002) (short subject)
- Crooked Lines (2003)
- Chump Change (2004)
- Night at the Museum (2006)
- The Mirror (2007)
- Sex and the City: The Movie (2008)
- The Greatest Gift (1954–1955)
- Ninotchka (1960)
- Dames at Sea (1971)
- The Paul Lynde Show (1972–1973)
- The Corner Bar (cast member in 1973)
- Kate McShane (1975) (canceled after 10 episodes)
- Rhoda (cast member from 1976–1977)
- Take Five with Stiller & Meara (1977–1978)
- Archie Bunker's Place (cast member from 1979–1982)
- HBO Sneak Previews (costarred with Jerry Stiller 1979-1982)
- The Other Woman (1983, writer and cast member)
- The Stiller and Meara Show (1986) (canceled after a few weeks, cast member and co-writer)
- ALF (appeared in 7 episodes from 1987–1989, wrote one episode in 1989)
- The Day They Came to Arrest the Book (1987)
- Murder, She Wrote (1988) (guest appearance)
- Avenue Z Afternoon (1991)
- The Sunset Gang (1991)
- All My Children (cast member from 1992–1999)
- Love off Limits (1993)
- "In the Heat of the Night" (1994) (1 episode)
- Great Performances (The Mother) (1994)
- Jitters (1997)
- After Play (1999, writer and cast member)
- What Makes a Family (2001)
- The Yard Sale (2002)
- Sex and the City (2002–2004)
- The King of Queens (1998, 2003–2007)
- Oz (appeared in 2 episodes in 1999 & 2002)
- Crooked Lines (2003)
- Good Morning, Miami (2003, 1 episode)
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (appeared in 2 episodes in 2004 & 2012)
- Four Kings (2006, 1 episode)
- The Shallow End of the Ocean (2007)
- Mercy (2009, 1 episode)
- Wonder Pets (2009–2010, 2 episodes)
- Down the Garden Paths (2000, playwright)
- After-Play (1995, playwright, lead)
- Anna Christie (1993, Tony Award nominee)
- Eastern Standard (1988)
- I'd Rather Eat Pants, National Public Radio, 2002
- Dining Alone (Blue Nun wine ad with Jerry Stiller, winner Clio Award, 1975)
- Bloom, Nate (March 17, 2009). Interfaith Family.com: "A Pint of Guinness, A Cup of Manischevitz: Some Irish/Jewish Connections".
- Anne Meara Biography (1929-)
- "E.J. Meara, Creator Of Comedy Skits, 73". The New York Times. December 16, 1966.
- O'Toole, Lesley (December 22, 2006). "Ben Stiller : 'Doing Comedy Is Scary'". The Independent. Archived from the original on January 8, 2007. Retrieved December 22, 2006.
- LA Times
- Elkin, Michael (July 28, 1995). "ON THE SCENE: Stiller and Meara marry comedy and a home life". Jewish Exponent. Retrieved December 22, 2008.
- Meara, Anne (June 8, 2009). "Old Nuns".
- "Meet Ben Stiller's Parents on New Yahoo! Web Show". TVGuide.com.
- "Stiller & Meara". Yahoo!.
- Gans, Andrew (April 14, 2011). "Minka Kelly, Susan Sullivan Set for Love, Loss... Off-Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
- Stiller & Meara Yahoo podcast
- Anne Meara at the Internet Movie Database
- Anne Meara at the Internet Broadway Database
- Anne Meara at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Works by or about Anne Meara in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Production: Anna Christie - Working in the Theatre Seminar video at American Theatre Wing.org, January 1993