Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller

Benjamin Edward Meara Stiller was born in New York City. Stiller was effectively born into a life of show business and comedy; both his parents, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, were successful actors, stand-up comics, and sketch performers known for their double act, Stiller and Meara. Like his older sister Amy Stiller, Ben took to this lifestyle, performing in theatrical productions and landing occasional television gigs as a child and teenager and dropping out of college at the University of California, Los Angeles, to make it as an actor in New York. After costarring in the 1986 Broadway production of "The House of Blue Leaves," Stiller attracted the attention of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC 1975-) producers, earning an extremely brief position as a writer and performer in 1989. In the wake of his stint on the series, Stiller moved on to MTV, where he developed a number of video projects that ultimately led to the development of "The Ben Stiller Show" (Fox 1992-93, 1995) on the Fox Network. The series launched Stiller's career proper (not to mention the careers of performers like Janeane Garofalo, Bob Odenkirk, and Andy Dick), leading to his feature directorial debut, "Reality Bites" (1994), and Jim Carrey-led follow-up, "The Cable Guy" (1996). Stiller became better known as a comic actor than as a filmmaker, however, thanks to starring parts in popular movies like "There's Something About Mary" (1998), "Meet the Parents" (2000), and "Zoolander" (2001). It was on the latter, which he directed, that Stiller first worked with Christine Taylor, whom he married in 2000. The decade saw Stiller maintain stature as a comic star, what with films like "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" (2004) and "Tropic Thunder" (2007), as well as a series of cameos in films starring the likes of Will Ferrell and Jack Black. Though Stiller maintained this association with comedy, he would go on to try his hand at more dramatic fare, namely Noah Baumbach's "Greenberg" (2010), "While We're Young" (2014) and "The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)" (2017). Stiller and wife Taylor separated in 2017. Stiller's first go at dramatic directing came with the miniseries "Escape at Dannemora" (Showtime 2018), which detailed the true story of the 2015 Clinton Correctional Facility jailbreak.



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