Ben Stiller is reflecting on his time with his father, the late Jerry Stiller, and the comedian's storied career. In a new interview with The New Yorker, the 54-year-old actor shares details on his final days with his dad, who died earlier this month at the age of 92.
"My sister and I were able to be with him," Ben says of him and his sister, Amy Stiller. "And, 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."
Noting that Jerry was "slowing down" in his final days, Ben added that one thing remained constant.
"The last week or two were tougher for him. But he went peacefully, and he had a sense of humor, for sure, until the end," Ben says. "I hesitate to call it a sense of humor. He was just funny, and so he was always himself. He was almost ninety-three, and I think his body was kind of at that point where it was time."
Jerry's beloved wife and longtime collaborator, Anne Meara, died in early 2019, and Ben reflected on growing up in a family of performers.
"We hardly ever sat down to have dinner together as a family. But, by the same token, I think we were a pretty close family," he says. "And it was just not your typical, traditional setup."
Ben added that his father was always supportive of his creative ambitions from an early age.