The Ben Stiller Show  

Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller stylin' in Prada

Ben was born in New York City on November 30, 1965 to the comedy team of Ann Meara and Jerry Stiller. The elder Stiller is best known to Jerry Seinfeld fans as the ever-kvetching father of George Costanza.

The entire family, including sister Amy, appeared together in the 1990 tongue-in-cheek horror/comedy
Highway to Hell.

In 1988, Stiller made his big-screen acting debut in Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun. That year, he also wrote and directed a comedy short parodying Tom Cruise ("The Hustler of Money") which led to a gig on Saturday Night Live as a featured player and writer. Later, Stiller directed the short comedy film Elvis Stories, which included bits with John Cusack, and the hilarious Mojo Nixon video "Elvis is Everywhere."SNL may have been short-lived, but it got him noticed by MTV folks, who gave him his own, similarly short-lived Ben Stiller Show (with Jeff Kahn) in 1990. Two years later, as a follow-up to In Living Color, Fox picked up The Ben Stiller Show,only to cancel it after one season. Stiller got his revenge by winning the Emmy for comedy writing.

Stiller came out on top with his first real directorial effort
Reality Bites, which marked him as a Gen-X posterboy. His second shot as a director in the Jim Carrey vehicle The Cable Guy, had initially disappointing reviews and attendance, probably due to its darkly anti-television message. The movie fared better in hindsight: at over $100 million world-wide, it was Sony Picture's second highest grossing film in 1996, behind Jerry Maguire. The four principle Stiller Show alum made cameo appearances in The Cable Guy.

He and Janeane Garofalo were seen together hosting 1996's MTV Movie Awards, for which he reprised his Tom Cruise-impression, ala Mission Impossible. In 1998, he solo-hosted the awards show.

1998 was a banner year for Stiller -- he appeared in four movies from the Dr. Watson-inspired flunky in Zero Effect to druggie Jerry Stahl in the biopic Permanent Midnight to his break-out role as Ted Stroehmann in There's Something About Mary.

In 1999 he re-teamed with Garofalo as superheros in Mystery Men, in which he played "Mr. Furious."

Stiller has also made guest appearances on NBC's Friends (as a crazed date) and News Radio (as a crazed health club manager.)

He hopes to return to the directorial chair with an adaption of Budd Schulberg's 1941 novel "What Makes Sammy Run?" which Stiller has written with Jerry Stahl.

Image map of links