Ben Stiller Reflects On The Last Days With Dad Jerry StillerPublished on May 20, 2020.
Ben Stiller recently opened up about his last days with father Jerry Stiller before his passing.
In an interview with The New Yorker published on Tuesday, May 19, the 54-year-old actor said that he and his sister Amy were able to spend time with their father before he passed away earlier this May at age 92.
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“Just due to the fact that he didn’t have a [public health-related] illness, and he had been ailing for a while, we were able to be with him, which I’m very, very grateful for,” Ben said.
The actor also shared how Jerry was holding up before his sudden passing.
“He was just slowing down a lot, and he was dealing with a lot of issues,” the Meet the Parents star shared. “And so the last week or two were tougher for him. But he went peacefully, and he had a sense of humor, for sure, until the end.”
“I hesitate to call it a sense of humor,” Ben added. “He was just funny, and so he was always himself. He was almost ninety-three, and I think his body was kind of at that point where it was time.”
Ben confirmed Jerry’s passing in a tweet on May 11. “I’m sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, passed away from natural causes,” he wrote. “He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years. He will be greatly missed. Love you Dad.”
Jerry – who was best known for playing George Costanza’s dad in Seinfeld – lost his wife, Anne Meara, in 2015 after she had suffered multiple strokes.
Over the years, Ben spoke highly about growing up with famous parents, sharing to PEOPLE in 2000 that “it wasn’t the typical family setup.”
“We got to stay up late and go to TV studios,” Ben said. “It was like this fun fantasyland.”
In an interview with Lufthansa Magazine, the actor said he learned “dedication and passion for my work” from Jerry and Anne.
“My parents could smell self-important bulls— a mile off,” Ben added. “Another piece of advice they gave me was never to change who you are just to please other people.”