Seinfeld star Jason Alexander pays tribute to on-screen father Jerry Stiller

Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Seinfeld star Jason Alexander has remembered his on-screen father Jerry Stiller as “a great actor, a great man, a lovely friend” after his death at the age of 92.

The actor and comedian, the father of actor Ben Stiller, first found fame with wife Anne Meara as the acclaimed husband and wife comedy duo Stiller and Meara in the 1960s.

He later became well known for his role as the father of Alexander’s character George Costanza in Seinfeld in the 1990s.

Alexander wrote on Twitter: “Such sad news that my beloved friend, Jerry Stiller, has passed.

“He was perhaps the kindest man I ever had the honor to work beside.

“He made me laugh when I was a child and every day I was with him. A great actor, a great man, a lovely friend. #RIPJerryStiller I Love you.”

Ben Stiller first announced the news of his father’s death on Twitter, writing: “I’m sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, passed away from natural causes.

“He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years.

“He will be greatly missed. Love you Dad.”

Ricky Gervais, Hank Azaria and Lin-Manuel Miranda were among the stars sending messages of condolence, with Gervais writing: “So sorry for your loss, Ben.”

The Simpsons star Azaria wrote: “He was a lovely man – always so kind to me. Condolences Ben,” while Miranda said: “Sending you love, Ben. What a giant. So grateful for him, and Anne, and you.”

Actress Kristin Davis, who starred opposite Meara in Sex And The City, wrote: “I’m so sorry. Your Dad was the sweetest most original love to be around. We were all so lucky to get to share a bit of him. So Sorry for your loss.”

William Shatner also paid tribute, writing: “Captain’s Log Stardate 54: As we begin a new week it is sad to hear about the passing of Jerry Stiller; a comedic genius, fellow actor & friend. He will be missed. Condolences to his family.”

Frozen star Josh Gad said: “My heart goes out to @RedHourBen & his entire family on this very difficult loss.

“Thank you Jerry for your brilliant comedic prowess. There was nobody who quite turned a phrase like #JerryStiller & few who got to create a holiday iconically linked to them. Happy eternal Festivus.”

Jerry Stiller appeared in both movie versions of Hairspray, first as the father of Ricki Lake’s Tracy Turnblad, and later in the 2007 film as Mr Pinky.

He also appeared in a string of films with his son Ben, including The Heartbreak Kid, Heavyweights and Hot Pursuit.

He also played Arthur Spooner, father of Leah Remini’s Carrie Heffernan, in The King Of Queens, and Zoolander’s manager in the hit comedy directed by his son.

Away from comedy, he appeared in the 1970s thriller The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three, as well as Murder She Wrote and Law And Order.

Stiller and Meara married in 1954 and he wrote a book about their life and career together called Married To Laughter: A Love Story Featuring Anne Meara. Meara died in 2015.

Stiller and Meara first became famous on US talk show The Ed Sullivan Show, playing the characters Hershey Horowitz and Mary Elizabeth Doyle.