Stiller was born in New York City. His father, Jerry Stiller, is Jewish; his mother, Anne Meara, who is of Irish Catholic background, converted to Reform Judaism after marrying his father. The family celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas, and Stiller had a Bar Mitzvah. He has said that he is "half Jewish and half Irish Catholic." Stiller's parents frequently took him on the sets of their appearances, including an appearance on The Mike Douglas Show when he was six. He stated in an interview that he considered his childhood unusual: "In some ways, it was a show-business upbringing—a lot of traveling, a lot of late nights—not what you'd call traditional." His sister, actress Amy Stiller, has made appearances in many of his productions, including Reality Bites, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, and Zoolander.
Stiller displayed an early interest in film-making, and made Super 8 movies with his sister and friends. At ten years old, he made his acting debut as a guest on his mother's television series, Kate McShane. In the late 1970s, he performed with the New York City troupe NYC's First All Children's Theater, playing several roles, including the title role in Clever Jack and the Magic Beanstalk. After being inspired by the television show Second City Television while in high school, Stiller realized that he wanted to get involved with sketch comedy.
Stiller attended the Cathedral School and graduated from the Calhoun School in New York in 1983. He started performing on the cabaret circuit as opening act to the cabaret siren Jadin Wong. Stiller then enrolled as a film student at the University of California, Los Angeles. After nine months, Stiller left school to move back to New York City. He made his way through acting classes, auditioning and trying to find an agent.
Ben Stiller dated several actresses during his early television and film career, including Jeanne Tripplehorn, Calista Flockhart, and Amanda Peet. In May 2000, Stiller married Christine Taylor, whom he met while filming a never-broadcast television pilot for the Fox Broadcasting network called Heat Vision and Jack, which starred Jack Black. The couple appeared onscreen together in Zoolander, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, and Tropic Thunder. He and Taylor reside in Hollywood Hills and have a daughter, Ella Olivia, born April 10, 2002, and a son, Quinlin Dempsey, born July 10, 2005.
Stiller is a supporter of the Democratic Party and donated money to John Kerry's 2004 U.S. Presidential campaign. In February 2007, Stiller attended a fundraiser for Barack Obama and later donated to the 2008 U.S. Presidential campaigns of Democrats Obama, John Edwards, and Hillary Clinton. Stiller is also a supporter of several charities including Declare Yourself, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and the Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation. In 2010, Stiller joined Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Robin Williams, and other Hollywood stars in "The Cove PSA: My Friend is... ", an effort to stop the slaughter of dolphins and protect the Japanese population from the toxic levels of mercury found in dolphin meat.
In a 1999 interview with GQ and later in a 2001 interview with Hollywood.com, Stiller stated jokingly that he had bipolar disorder, an illness he said that ran in his family. In interviews in November and December 2006, Stiller claimed that this earlier interview's comment about the disorder was misconstrued and false. In one interview he clarified, "I said jokingly in GQ that I was, like, crazy, and it came out as: Ben Stiller, bipolar manic-depressive!" He added in another interview that "Unfortunately, irony is never something that comes across well in a print interview."
Stiller frequently does impersonations of many of his favorite performers, including Bono, Tom Cruise, Bruce Springsteen, and David Blaine. In an interview with Parade, he commented that Robert Klein, George Carlin, and Jimmie Walker were inspirations for his comedy career. Stiller is also a self-professed Trekkie and appeared in the television special Star Trek: 30 Years and Beyond to express his love of the show, as well as a comedy roast for William Shatner. He frequently references the show in his work, and named his production company Red Hour Productions after the original Star Trek episode "The Return of the Archons".
- There's Something About Mary (1998) as Ted STroEhman
- Mystery Men (1999) as Mr. Furious
- Meet the Parents (2000) as Gaylord 'Greg' Focker
- Zoolander (2001) as Derek Zoolander
- Madagascar (2005) as Alex (voice)
- Night at the Museum (2006) as Larry Daley
- School for Scoundrels (2006) as Lonnie
- The Heartbreak Kid (2007) as Eddie Cantrow
- Tropic Thunder (2008) as Tugg Speedman
- Madagascar Escape 2 Africa (2008) as Alex (voice)
- Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009) as Larry Daley
- The Marc Pease Experience (2009) as Jon Gribble
- Greenberg (2010) as Roger Greenberg
- Little Fockers (2010) as Gaylord 'Greg' Focker
- Madagascar 3 (2012) as Alex (voice)
- The Watch (2012) as Evan Trautwig
- Stiller was awarded an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing in a Variety or Music Program" for his work on The Ben Stiller Show.
- He has been nominated twelve times for the Teen Choice Awards and won once for "Choice Hissy Fit" for his work in Zoolander.
- He was nominated by the MTV Movie Awards thirteen times and won three times for "Best Fight" in There's Something About Mary, "Best Comedic Performance" in Meet the Parents, and "Best Villain" in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.
- Princeton University's Class of 2005 inducted Stiller as an honorary member of the class during its "Senior Week" in April 2005.
- On February 23, 2007, Stiller received the Hasty Pudding Man of the Year award from Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals. According to the organization, the award is given to performers who give a lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment.
- On March 31, 2007, Stiller received the "Wannabe Award" from the Kids' Choice Awards.
- On May 31, 2009, Stiller received the MTV Generation Award, at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards. It is the ceremony's top honor.
- ↑ Los Angeles Times
- ↑ McIntee, Michael Z.. "Monday, May 30, 2005, Show #2366 recap". Late Show with David Letterman. http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/wahoo/index/php/20050530.phtml. Retrieved March 29, 2009.
- ↑ Wills, Dominic. "Ben Stiller Biography". Tiscali. http://www.tiscali.co.uk/entertainment/film/biographies/ben_stiller_biog.html. Retrieved March 29, 2009.
- ↑ "Ben Stiller". Yahoo!. http://tv.yahoo.com/benstiller/contributor/31663/bio;_ylt=Avdnl1zLWRNAS2XImByvwQa.o9EF. Retrieved March 29, 2009.
- ↑ "Ben Stiller's Federal Campaign Contribution Report". Newsmeat. http://www.newsmeat.com/celebrity_political_donations/Ben_Stiller.php. Retrieved March 29, 2009.
- ↑ "Ben Stiller Charity Information". Look to the Stars. http://www.looktothestars.org/celebrity/18-ben-stiller. Retrieved March 29, 2009.
- ↑ Hollywood and “The Cove” Join Forces for Dolphin Awareness: Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston and friends appear in The Cove PSA directed by Andrés Useche
- ↑ "Holy Shat! Insults Fly at Comedy Central Roast". Startrek.com. August 15, 2006. http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/news/article/22175.html. Retrieved January 13, 2010.
- ↑ Silverstein, Adam (April 19, 2009). "Stiller: 'J.J. Abrams did great job'". Digital Spy. http://www.digitalspy.com/movies/news/a156194/stiller-jj-abrams-did-great-job.html. Retrieved January 13, 2010.
- ↑ "Awards for Ben Stiller". Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001774/awards. Retrieved March 29, 2009.
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