Anne Meara Dead at 85

Renowned actress thrived in film, TV for 60 years
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2015 4:30 PM CDT
Anne Meara Dead at 85
In this April 1, 1995, file photo, actress and comedian Anne Meara picks up a bouquet at a sidewalk market in New York City.   (AP Photo/Marty Reichenthal, File)

Comedian and actress Anne Meara, whose career took off with husband Jerry Stiller and thrived in its own right for decades, died yesterday at age 85, the AP reports. The family gave no further details. Meara and her husband made waves appearing as Stiller & Meara on programs including the "The Ed Sullivan Show" back in the 1960s and went on to work in radio, films, TV commercials and TV shows. A five-time Emmy nominee, Meara was also known for her recurring roles on "All My Children" and "Archie Bunker's Place," not to mention "Rhoda," "Sex and the City," and "The King of Queens." She also acted in many films, including family projects directed by her son Ben Stiller, like "Reality Bites" and "Zoolander," Variety reports.

Her list of acting credits could fill a room, but suffice to say she won roles on projects as diverse at the show "Homicide," the horror flick "Highway to Hell," and the comedy "Night at the Museum." Roger Ebert described her as being "almost by definition, superb at her assignment" as a woman leading her family on a crazed search for her son-in-law in the 1997 indie film "The Daytrippers." She created "an insufferable mother," says Ebert, and "the film’s problem is that she does it so well." Meara also won a Writers Guild Award in 1984 for co-writing the TV film "The Other Woman" and an Obie for the 1955 Off-Broadway play "Mädchen in Uniform." "Anne's memory lives on in the hearts of daughter Amy, son Ben, her grandchildren ... and the millions she entertained," her family says in a statement. (Read more celebrity death stories.)

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