To be an actor is one thing, but to be an actor, writer, producer, and
director is another. To many people this would be an impossible feet to accomplish, but not for Ben Stiller.
On November 30, 1965, Ben Stiller was born into a family of comedians, his parents being famous entertainers Jerry Stiller
, and Anne Meara
. Stiller began his interest in acting at an early age, as he and his older sister Amy Stiller
would preform plays around their house, some of which were written by Shakespear
. Ben would often try to learn from his parents, and admired their ability to make others laugh. Their Upper West Side apartment was often packed with celebrities coming to and fro', giving Ben a chance to try and entertain them. At the age of 8 Stiller was able to join his parents on screen, along with his sister when Jerry and Anne co-hosted "The Douglas Show".
Obviously being famous comedians, Ben's parents were almost always busy, leaving little time to spend with their son. Ben, along with his sister Amy, were often looked after by their Jamaican house keeper Hazel. Stiller was also bullied quite harshly, and always felt like a mis-fit. He proclaimed that he wasn't well adjusted between the ages 13 and 19. At the age of 10 he had recieved a Super 8 camera, which he would shoot short films starring himself. Because of being bullied, the films would usually feature Ben getting bloody revengence on the tough-jock type kids who picked on him. As Ben got older, his interest in being an actor and director became stronger. He eventually moved to L.A. and attended the Universety of California as a film student. He later dropped out and moved back to his hometown of New York City.
While back in New York Stiller started looking for places to preform, as well as trying to land himself an agent. He eventually played a role in the Tony Award winner, "The House of Blue Leaves". During that same time he played the part of Tom Cruise
in a spoof of the movie "The Color of Money" along with his costar John Mahoney
, who played Paul Newman's
role. Lorne Michaels
thought the film to be hilarious, and aired it on Saterday Night Live, as well as giving Ben a writers position for the show for the entire year of 1989. Stiller soon moved on to make his big screen debute by playing a small role in Steven Spielberg's
film "Empire of the Sun. Ben began to see how his career was beginning to unfold, and helped direct "Back to Brooklyn" for MTV. Impressed, MTV allowed Ben to write his own show, given the unoriginal name "The Ben Stiller Show". MTV ended up passing on it, but luckily Fox was there to pick it up. The show didn't last very long though, only airing 12 episodes, but it helped launch the careers of his fellow collaborators Bob Odenkirk
, Andy Dick
, and Janeane Garofalo
. Stiller was also able to win an emmy for the show after it was cancled.
After the cancellation of his previous show, Stiller began directing others such as "Reality Bites" and "The Cable Guy". Later Stiller began acting again after puting aside his directing ambitions to star in the Farrelly brothers film, "There's Something About Mary" - where he played the role of Ted Stroehmann; a man who's still in love with his old high school prom date. The movie launched Ben's career, as millions around America began to notice him as a celebrity, but he didn't stop there. In 2000, Stiller starred in his best known movie of all time, the hilarious "Meet the Parents", which made $166,225,040 in U.S. Box Office. In 2001 Stiller came out with the movie "Zoolander", which he directed himself, making him even more well known. During the time period of 1990 during his success, he had relations with actress Jean Tripplehorn
. But the relation didn't last long, and he soon ended up marrying actress Christine Taylor
, whom he met while filming a never airing television pilot for Fox, "Heat Vision and Jack".
Stillers career continued to go off like a bomb shell as he began to get parts in big movies, such as "Along Came Polly" (2004), "Starsky and Hutch" (2004), "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" (2004), and the hilarious sequal "Meet the Parents" (2004) - Where Ben played Gay Lord Focker, a man who has a terrible time getting his real Parents to get to know his soon-to-be Parents in law. Stiller has just recently finished his voice acting movie, "Madagascar", and is scheduled to play in the sequal as well, announced for release in 2008.
Ben has made quite a name for himself over the years, starring in many well known movies, as well as directing and producing some of his own. It seems as though the comedy stardom blood line in his family has been passed on down to him, giving him the fame and fortune of which he already has. If Ben continues what he's doing, there's no doubt this big director, actor, producer, and writer will continue to be a big star for years and years to come.