Jerry Stiller and Meara were very different from each other but they still made a great couple.
True love transcends every human barrier and lasts forever. It makes you feel connected to your loved one even when they are not around you anymore. Their memories elevate your spirit and give you hope. Jerry Stiller lived with such hope after the love of his life, Anne Meara passed away. Their 61 years together was a magical ride and Stiller never wanted it to end.
The recently deceased actor's wife, Meara, passed away in 2015. It was tough for the comedian, who once said, "I miss her. There were no walls between us in any way. We both knew what the other was thinking even when we weren't listening."
Stiller met Meara in the spring of 1953 while he was attending Syracuse University. He saw her bursting out of their theatrical agent's office in New York and the two agreed to go for a coffee. While it was sort of a love at first sight moment for Meara, it took a while for Stiller. "I really knew this was the man I would marry. I knew he would never leave me," said the actress to People, according to Country Living.
Stiller, on the other hand, was not very confident after the girls at his campus showed no interest in him. Speaking to People, he said, "Girls weren’t interested in me in college. They thought I was weird."
However, soon, he realized Meara was unlike the others. She saw right through him and told him to be himself. “I was always putting people on, trying to be funny. She said, ‘Why don’t you just be what you are?’," recalled Stiller in an interview with People.
That was the beginning of their journey together. After two months, the couple tied the knot and started their life together. People around them were often astonished and did not believe they were married. “It occurred to us that we were an unlikely couple. People would say to Anne, ‘Heh, you’re married to him?’ I thought we could use it," recalled the comedian.
Those comments motivated the couple. They decided to take advantage of those remarks and make a career out of it. The couple teamed up and became the famous comedy duo, Stiller & Meara, on sketch shows. That was the turning point of their professional life. "Jerry started us being a comedy team. At that time in my life, I disdained comedians," said Meara to The New York Times, according to Country Living. Throughout the 1960s, they made people laugh, which eventually got them their parts on The Ed Sullivan Show. The audience loved them and the couple was invited to the show for the next 15 years.
Meanwhile, they were expanding as a family as well. In 1961, they welcomed their first child, Amy. Soon, they were joined by their son, Ben, in 1965. After starring together for long, the couple decided to break off their professional partnership. "I love Anne, but if I had depended on her in my professional life, I would have lost her as a wife. We felt like two guys," said Stiller to People. Meara, too, admitted it was the best decision they took. She stated, "I didn’t know where the act ended and our marriage began," according to People.
They went on to have extremely successful individual careers. Over the years, the couple has spoken about how this decision strengthened their marriage. "We’ve never really been on the same wavelength until recently. Jerry made an important discovery—that he was an entity," said Meara in a 1977 interview with People. She added, "I always wanted things my way. I used to say everything he did was wrong. It was a marvelous thing to discover I could be wrong too," according to People.
With separate careers, the couple also admitted missing working with each other. "We did miss our back and forth. I love improvising with him," said Meara to Los Angeles Times in 2010, according to People.
They shared a unique love but Stiller had to bid farewell to Meara on 21 May 2015. After 5 years of missing his love, Stiller too, passed away on 11 May 2020. We hope they have reunited somewhere and continue their love story there