Kevin James is paying tribute to his longtime King of Queens co-star, Jerry Stiller, following the comedy legend’s death at age 92. The beloved actor passed away of natural causes on Monday, son Ben Stiller reported.
In a poignant post on Instagram, James recalled working with the television legend on The King of Queens from 1998 to 2007. Stiller played James’ father-in-law and Leah Remini’s dad, Arthur Spooner, on the CBS sitcom.
In a caption to a throwback photo with Stiller taken at the King of Queens‘ 200th episode party in 2007, James described his TV father-in-law as “kind “and “loving,” and one of the funniest people he ever met. The actor also thanked Stiller for all of the memories they made together during nine seasons on the long-running series.
In comments to the post, James’ fans offered him condolences. Many wrote that even though The King of Queens ended its run in 2007, they still watch reruns of the show every night, and said that Stiller’s character Arthur remains a favorite.
“So sad to hear the news,” one fan wrote to James. “Been watching a lot of King of Queens during Quarantine- always makes me laugh. He was a comic genius. RIP.”
“What a tremendous loss,” another supporter added. “An incredible talent and such a beautiful man. He will be deeply missed. Rest In Peace, Jerry.”
Fans know that James fought to get Stiller on the King of Queens cast despite the fact that the comedy star planned to retire following his stint as Frank Costanza on Seinfeld. James later admitted that he was the “weak link” on King of Queens while working with seasoned actors such as Stiller and Remini.
“I was definitely the weak link for sure as far as acting was concerned on the show,” James said in an interview with Philly Voice. “Leah and Jerry had done a crazy amount of things….It was my first gig. I learned a lot through it.”
James would go on to welcome all of Stiller’s immediate family — his wife Anne Meara, son Ben Stiller, and daughter Amy Stiller — in various guest roles on The King of Queens over the years.
While they ended their working relationship nearly 13 years ago, James remained close friends with Stiller. In December, the Kevin Can Wait star shared an Instagram photo after he reunited with Stiller for a visit.
“Had the greatest time visiting my pal… and father in-law… Love him,” James captioned the sweet pic.