Ben Stiller opens up on last days with dad Jerry Stiller: "He had a sense of humour until the end"
Ben Stiller has opened up about the last days he spent with his dad Jerry Stiller before his death last week at the age of 92.
The comedy star confirmed his father’s death last week, prompting an outpouring of tributes for the late Seinfeld star.
Discussing his dad’s death in a new interview, Ben said Jerry was “slowing down” in his final days.
“He was just slowing down a lot, and he was dealing with a lot of issues,” Ben said. “And so the last week or two were tougher for him. But he went peacefully, and he had a sense of humour, for sure, until the end.
“I hesitate to call it a sense of humour. He was just funny, and so he was always himself. He was almost 93, and I think his body was kind of at that point where it was time.”
Speaking to the New Yorker, Ben also revealed that his family were allowed to spend time with Jerry because his illness wasn’t related to coronavirus.
He said: “Just due to the fact that he didn’t have a coronavirus-related illness, and he had been ailing for a while, we were able to be with him. Which I’m very, very grateful for.”
Stiller was best known for starring as George Costanza’s father Frank on Seinfeld before going on to play Arthur Spooner on The King of Queens.
In the wake of his death, Jerry Seinfeld described Stiller as “so perfect”.
“We never gave Jerry Stiller a note,” Seinfeld said. “I never adjusted his performance once. Whatever he did, that’s it. We’re putting that out there. I don’t know why he did it like that. I don’t know why he screamed on that line. It doesn’t matter. It’s funny. So funny.
“I am such a dedicated believer in if it’s funny, don’t touch it. I don’t care why it’s funny. I don’t care what the line was supposed to be. He said it that way, we’re doing it that way.”