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Anne Meara (1929)

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Anne Meara is an American actress and comedian. She and Jerry Stiller were a prominent 1960s comedy team, appearing as Stiller and Meara, and are the parents of actor/comedian Ben and actress Amy Stiller.


 personal life
Meara was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Mary (née Dempsey) and Edward Joseph Meara, a lawyer. Meara was raised Catholic in an Irish American family, and converted to Reform Judaism six years after marrying Stiller. She has long stressed that she did not convert at Stiller's request, but because "Catholicism was dead to me." She took the conversion seriously and studied the faith in such depth that her Jewish-born husband quipped, "Being married to Anne has made me more Jewish."

Meara has written about her mother's death and her childhood experiences at Catholic boarding school.

Meara has been married to Stiller since 1954. Both were members of the improvisational company The Compass Players , and the pair, as the comedy team Stiller and Meara, brought many of their real-life relationship foibles to bear on their often-improvised comedy routines. After some years honing the act, Stiller and Meara became regulars on The Ed Sullivan Show and other TV programs. Their career declined, however, as variety series gradually disappeared.

During the 1970s, Meara and Stiller wrote and performed many radio commercials together for Blue Nun Wine. She had a recurring role on the sitcom Rhoda as airline stewardess Sally Gallagher, one of the title character's best friends. She also had a small role opposite Laurence Olivier in The Boys from Brazil .

Meara costarred with Carroll O'Connor and Martin Balsam in the early 1980s hit sitcom Archie Bunker's Place, which was a continuation of the influential 1970s sitcom All in the Family. She played the role of Veronica Rooney, the bar’s cook, for the show's first three seasons (1979–1982). She also appeared as the grandmother in the TV series ALF in the late 1980s. Her own 1986 TV sitcom, The Stiller and Meara Show, in which Stiller played the deputy mayor of New York City and Meara portrayed his wife, a TV commercial actress, was unsuccessful.

More recently, she has had recurring roles on the television shows Sex and the City and The King of Queens . In the 2004-'05 season, she appeared in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

She is the consulting director of J.A.P. - The Jewish American Princesses of Comedy, a 2007 Off-Broadway production that features live stand-up routines by four female Jewish comics juxtaposed with the stories of legendary performers from the 1950s and 1960s: Totie Fields, Jean Carroll, Pearl Williams, Betty Walker and Belle Barth.

Starting in October 2010, Meara and her husband Jerry Stiller began starring in a Yahoo! web series called Stiller & Meara produced by Red Hour Digital, a production company owned by their son Ben Stiller. She accepted a role in the Off Broadway play Love, Loss, and What I Wore for an April 27 through May 29, 2011 run with Conchata Ferrell, AnnaLynne McCord, Minka Kelly, and B. Smith.

 television work
  • The Greatest Gift (1954–1955)
  • Ninotchka
  • Dames at Sea
  • The Paul Lynde Show (1972–1973)
  • The Corner Bar
  • Kate McShane
  • Rhoda (cast member from 1976–1977)
  • Take Five with Stiller & Meara (1977–1978)
  • Archie Bunker's Place (cast member from 1979–1982)
  • HBO Sneak Previews (costarred with Jerry Stiller 1979-1982)
  • The Other Woman
  • The Stiller and Meara Show (canceled after a few weeks, cast member and co-writer)
  • ALF (appeared in 7 episodes from 1987–1989, wrote one episode in 1989)
  • The Day They Came to Arrest the Book
  • Murder, She Wrote
  • Avenue Z Afternoon
  • The Sunset Gang
  • All My Children (cast member from 1992–1999)
  • Love off Limits
  • "In the Heat of the Night"
  • Great Performances
  • Jitters
  • After Play
  • What Makes a Family
  • The Yard Sale
  • Sex and the City (2002–2004)
  • The King of Queens (1998, 2003–2007)
  • Oz (appeared in 2 episodes in 1999 & 2002)
  • Crooked Lines
  • Good Morning, Miami
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
  • Four Kings
  • The Shallow End of the Ocean
  • Mercy
  • Wonder Pets (2009–2010, 2 episodes)

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Anne Meara", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.