Actress Anne Meara passed away May 23 at the age of 85.
She worked a great deal in TV – her first role was in 1954 — though rarely in sf or fantasy programs.
In the Vincent Price/Coral Browne vehicle Time Express (1979), where they were the sophisticated hosts of a train that took its passengers back in time to relive an important moment of their lives, Meara played “the Garbage Man’s wife” opposite her real-life husband and comedy partner Jerry Stiller.
She appeared in 8 episodes of Alf and even wrote an episode.
In Highway To Hell (1991), a comedy film which also featured her husband and their children, Ann and Ben, Meara was cast as a waitress at Pluto’s. And she shared the screen with Ben Stiller again in Night at the Museum (2006).
She and Jerry Stiller initially gained fame as the comedy team “Stiller and Meara.” They were members of the improvisational company, the Compass Players, which later became SCTV (1976).
“Stiller and Meara.”
Hard to breath because they are so funny. I am sad.
Sad news. I got to meet her briefly, in another life, long ago, when I was an acting apprentice at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. A great light has gone out.
As I recall, one of the books about the early Trek conventions mentioned that she was a Trek fan and ended up speaking at one of said conventions. Don’t recall more specific details.
Anne Meara was at least at the 1976 Star Trek Convention, at the Commodore Hotel (with her son Ben in tow, as well, perhaps, as her daughter, Amy).
Here’s what I wrote today in the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, in a brief remembrance, of the great Meara.
Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller were magical names in my home, growing up
in New York in the 1960s. My family would be thrilled when “Stiller
and Meara,” the standup comedians, would appear on the popular talk
and variety shows of the era. (Not only were they funny and charming,
but it should be noted that they were also notable for being one of the first PUBLIC mixed marriages, a happy one, of course, between a Jewish man and a Catholic woman.) In recent years, certainly, her husband’s fame eclipsed some of her own,
although both had also distinguished themselves as marvelous actors, in both film, and sitcoms. I am grateful that at an actors’ event, about twelve years ago, I took
the chance on paying some of these compliments to Anne, and saw her
suddenly beam with a radiance that could only possibly be matched by
all the joy she helped engender.