The entertainment world is mourning the loss of comedy legend Jerry Stiller. The Seinfeld and King of Queens star, who kicked off his career as a comedian alongside his wife Anne Meara in the 1950s, died at age 92 of natural causes on May 11.
Now, fans and famous friends are paying tribute to the late star on social media as they recall working with him and watching his performances on television and in films.
Today co-host Al Roker posted a photo montage of Stiller to Twitter as he recalled working with the legendary actor on the 1993 Seinfeld episode ‘The Cigar Store Indian.”
“I remember seeing [Jerry Stiller] as half of [Stiller and Meara] on Ed Sullivan,” Roker captioned the post. “I loved him as Lt. Rico Patrone in Taking Of Pelham 123 and got to meet him during my stint on [Seinfeld] as [Frank Costanza.] #ripjerrystiller at 92.”
Actor Treat Williams recalled working with Stiller in the movie The Ritz. Stiller played mobster Carmine Vespucci in the 1976 Richard Lester comedy film. In his post, Williams described Stiller as a “joy” to work alongside.
In addition, former Seinfeld writer David Mandel wrote that Stiller was one of the “sweetest” people he ever worked with.
RIP Jerry Stiller. You were a joy to work with in The Ritz, a joy to watch, and a very nice man. My condolences to your family. pic.twitter.com/8VNbXklqZj— Treat Williams (@Rtreatwilliams) May 11, 2020
Sad to hear of the passing of Jerry Stiller. He was hilarious, but also one of the sweetest people this young writer ever got to work with. I will forever remember him screaming “Del Boca Vista.” There was “Del Bica Bosta” and a bunch of other. Nobody could keep a straight face! pic.twitter.com/fOkX2tNQ4c— David Mandel (@DavidHMandel) May 11, 2020
In a poignant remembrance, actor Parry Shen, who played a stockboy in the King of Queens Season 1 episode “Supermarket Story,” revealed that it was Stiller who saved his job. In a series of Twitter posts, Shen wrote that following his table read for the show, his part was reduced to two lines and the role was given to another, older actor.
“A few hours later, I was informed that I had my role back and that Mr. Stiller (& Kevin James) spoke to the producers & got my job back (unheard of – when you’re gone, you’re gone). When I thanked Jerry, he said, ‘Hey, it’s not Shakespeare! You’re doing great!’” Shen tweeted.
Shen added that while everyone will remember Stiller as a comedic legend, he also wants the world to also know what a kind, generous, and “truly class act” he was from someone who was lucky enough to experience it firsthand.
Actress Rebecca Metz shared a similar story about Stiller’s kindness. In a sweet post to Twitter, she revealed that early in her career, she had a few lines on an episode of The King of Queens. When Metz’s father came to the studio audience for the taping and had the chance to meet Jerry Stiller, the King of Queens star gushed over how proud her father must be of her.
“A comedy legend and the sweetest, most humble man,” Metz wrote. “May his memory be a blessing.”