The son of comedy performing parents Jerry Stiller
and Anne Meara
, BEN STILLER
was born and raised in New York City. He made his professional acting debut on Broadway in 1985, starring opposite John Mahoney
in John Guare's "The House of Blue Leaves." While appearing in the play, he persuaded Mahoney and fellow cast members Swoosie Kurtz
, Stockard Channing
and Julie Hagerty
to appear in his first directorial effort, a short comedy film titled "The Hustler of Money". A parody of Martin Scorsese's "The Colour of Money", it eventually aired on "Saturday Night Live" and was so well received, Stiller was hired as a featured player and writer for the comedy series.
Following his stint at "Saturday Night Live", Stiller directed the MTV comedy special "Back to Brooklyn". He subsequently created "The Ben Stiller Show" with Jeff Kahn
, initially for MTV and later, in a critically praised 13 episode run, collaborating with Judd Apatow
. Stiller, along with the rest of the writing staff, received an Emmy Award for outstanding comedy writing.
He has established himself as one of Hollywood's most formidable talents. A veteran of stage, film and television, he consistently displays diverse skills, whether acting, writing or directing. Most recently, he starred in the comedy hit, "Meet The Parents", with Robert De Niro
, which earned him an American Comedy Award for funniest actor in a leading role. He also picked up the MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance.
In the past two years he has also had starring roles in the romantic comedy "Keeping the Faith", the comic book action film "Mystery Men" and the smash romantic comedy, "There's Something About Mary" opposite Cameron Diaz. He will next be seen in "The Royal Tenenbaums".
Stiller made an impressive dramatic turn in "Permanent Midnight", (based on Jerry Stahl's
controversial Hollywood memoir) portraying the former television writer who lived the secret life of a heroin addict. He received further positive notice for his role in Neil LaBute's
ensemble drama, "Your Friends and Neighbours".
Stiller's most recent directorial effort was "The Cable Guy", starring Jim Carrey
and Matthew Broderick
. He made his feature motion picture directorial debut in 1994, with the critically acclaimed "Reality Bites", in which he also co-starred with Winona Ryder
, Janeane Garofalo
and Ethan Hawke.
Stiller's other films include "Zero Effect" with Bill Pullman
, David O'Russell's
"Flirting with Disaster", opposite Patricia Arquette
, Tea Leoni
, Josh Brolin
and Mary Tyler Moore
and Steven Spielberg's
epic World War II drama, "Empire of the Sun".
He will star next opposite Drew Barrymore
on a project entitled "The Duplex". Recently married to his "Zoolander" co-star Christine Taylor
; Stiller lives in Los Angeles.