Ben Stiller Biography

Ben Stiller is an American comedian, actor, screenwriter, film director and producer. This biography gives detailed information about his childhood, life and timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: November 30, 1965

Nationality: American

Famous: Quotes By Ben Stiller Millionaires

Age: 54 Years, 54 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Sagittarius

Also Known As: Benjamin Edward Meara Stiller

Born in: New York City

Height: 5'7" (170 cm), 5'7" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Barry Herridge (m. 2011), John Reynolds (m. 1987–1991), Nicholas Sommerlad (m. 2002–2004), Stephen Cooney (m. 2010–2011)

siblings: Amy Stiller

children: Ella Olivia Stiller, Quinlin Dempsey Stiller

Ideology: Democrats

City: New York City

U.S. State: New Yorkers

More Facts

education: The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine, Calhoun School, University of California, Los Angeles

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Not every comedian is a bankable star; not every bankable star can pull of a comic role. Ben Stiller is one such star who can rake in the laughs and keep the tills at the box office ringing. For someone who would like to look at the numbers to believe, his films are reputed to have grossed an average of $75 million at the box office. It’s not just that his movies are hits or sleeper hits; they star a string of A-listers. Although he started out on the small screen, the move to the big screens seemed not much of a hassle for him and that was only because he could pull of comedic roles and bring not just stellar performances to the table but talent, timing, and insight into the audience’s mind. A pioneer of experimenting with mediums, he ushered a series of never-before-tried mixed comedy sketches with music videos, parodies of television shows, music stars, and films. A prolific writer, director, and producer, he has also made several cameos in music videos, TV shows and films. His penchant for playing cantankerous sarcastic characters in awkward and embarrassing situations has endeared him to millions worldwide.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • Ben Stiller was born to veteran comedians and actors, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara and was inspired to pursue a career in acting by his parents.
  • His family followed both Judaism and Irish Catholicism - the Stillers celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas, and Ben had a Bar Mitzvah.
  • In the 70s, he was a part of the New York City troupe’ NYC's First All Children's Theater’.
  • In 1983, he graduated from the Calhoun School in New York and enrolled at UCLA. Around that time, he also opened the act for cabaret siren Jadin Wong.
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  • His one-line appearance on ‘Guiding Light’ led to a casting in the Tony-award winning 1986 Broadway revival of John Guare's ‘The House of Blue Leaves’. Around that time, he produced a satirical mockumentary on actor Mahoney.
  • His 10-minute short follow up ‘The Hustler of Money’, a parody of the Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Color of Money’ caught the attention of ‘Saturday Night Live’, which aired it in 1987.
  • In 1987, he played a small part in Steven Spielberg's ‘Empire of the Sun’.
  • In 1989, he appeared on ‘Saturday Night Live’ as a featured performer, but left after four episodes. He came up with Elvis Stories, a short film which inspired another film titled ‘Back to Brooklyn’ for MTV.
  • In the early 1990s, he secured a few small roles in ‘Stella’, ‘Highway to Hell’ and a cameo in ‘The Nutt House’.
  • Starting 1992, Fox Network broadcast the 12-episode ‘Ben Stiller Show’ which failed to make a mark. However, it slowly received critical appreciation and won an ‘Emmy Outstanding Writing’ in a ‘Variety or Music Program’.
  • In 1995, his parents joined him onscreen in Heavyweights. The following year, he starred in Adam Sandler's ‘Happy Gilmore’.
  • Next, he appeared in lead roles in ‘If Lucy Fell’ and ‘Flirting with Disaster’.
  • ‘Cable Guy’, his second directorial effort starring Jim Carrey garnered mixed reviews.
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  • 1998 was the year that catapulted this comedian into superstardom. ‘There’s Something About Mary’, ‘Zero Effect’, ‘Your Friends & Neighbors’, ‘Permanent Midnight’ were all well received.
  • In 1999, he starred in three films: ‘Mystery Men’, ‘Black and White’, and ‘The Suburbans’. However, his spoof series, ‘Heat Vision and Jack’, starring Jack Black, flopped.
  • He starred in three films in 2000: ‘Meet the Parents’, ‘Keeping the Faith’, and ‘The Independent’. Later that year, he developed ‘Mission: Improbable’, a spoof of ‘Mission: Impossible II’ and other films for MTV.
  • In 2001, he directed ‘Zoolander’, which was initially developed as a short skit for the VH1 Fashion Awards five years earlier. It featured multiple celebrity cameos.
  • Over the next two years, he appeared in ‘Duplex’, ‘Orange County’, ‘Nobody Knows Anything!’ and ‘The King Of Queens’.
  • From 2003 to 2004, he appeared in six blockbusters: ‘Starsky & Hutch’, ‘Envy’, ‘DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story’, ‘Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy’, ‘Along Came Polly’ and ‘Meet the Fockers’, all of which saw commercial and critical success.
  • ‘Madagascar’, released in 2005, was his first attempt at a computer-animated film, which grossed over $532 million at the box office.
  • In 2006, Stiller played cameo roles in ‘School for Scoundrels’ and ‘Tenacious D’ in [The Pick of Destiny’, for which he was also an executive producer. In December, Stiller starred in the lead role in ‘Night at the Museum’. Although not a critics’ favorite, it earned over $115 million in ten days.
  • ‘Heartbreak Kid’, starring Malin Akerman, released in 2007, was critically panned but earned over $100 million worldwide.
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  • He co-wrote, co-produced, and directed ‘Tropic Thunder’ in 2008.
  • The following year, the sequel ‘Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian’ was released.
  • In 2010, he made a brief cameo in ‘I'm Still Here’ and played the lead role in the ‘Greenberg’.
  • In 2011, he starred alongside Eddie Murphy and Alan Alda in ‘Tower Heist’.
  • 2012 saw the release of the final movie in the ‘Madagascar’ franchise.
  • In 2014, he will be seen in ‘Zoolander 2’.
Major Works
  • He wrote, starred in and directed ‘Reality Bites’ which debuted as the highest-grossing film in its opening weekend and received mixed reviews.
  • The Farrelly Brothers’ ‘There's Something About Mary’ turned his career around; this cult classic generated $369 million at the box office.
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  • His role as male nurse Gaylord Focker in ‘Meet the Parents’, opposite Robert De Niro, grossed more than $330 million worldwide. The sequels ‘Meet the Fockers’ and ‘Little Fockers’ made over $516.6 million and $310 million, worldwide.
Awards & Achievements
  • This comedian par excellence has been nominated twelve times for the ‘Teen Choice Awards’ and won in the ‘Choice Hissy Fit’ category for ‘Zoolander’.
  • He has received thirteen ‘MTV Movie Award’ nominations and won in the categories ‘Best Fight’ (There's Something About Mary), ‘Best Comedic Performance’ (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 2007, he received the ‘Hasty Pudding Man of the Year’ award from ‘Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals’, in addition to the ‘Wannabe Award’ from the ‘Kids' Choice Awards’.
  • MTV conferred its top honor—‘The MTV Generation Award’—on this remarkable actor in 2009.
  • He was the recipient of the 2011 ‘Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award’ for ‘Excellence in Comedy’.
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Personal Life & Legacy
  • Stiller was involved with several actresses during his early TV and film career, such as Jeanne Tripplehorn, Calista Flockhart, and Amanda Peet.
  • He married Christine Taylor in May 2000. The couple has two children - Ella Olivia and Quinlin Dempsey.
  • His wife, sister, and son have worked alongside him in movies, such as ‘Reality Bites’, ‘Zoolander’, ‘DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story’, ‘Tropic Thunder’, ‘Arrested Development’ and ‘Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa’.
  • A democrat, he has donated to the campaigns of John Kerry, Barack Obama, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton.
  • He has also been involved with several charitable organizations, such as ‘Declare Yourself’, the ‘Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation’ and the ‘Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation’.
  • This actor-director regularly casts ‘Jack Black’, ‘Will Ferrell’, ‘Vince Vaughn’, ‘Owen Wilson’, ‘Luke Wilson’ and Steve Carellin in the films he produces and directs.
  • This well-known actor has appeared with Owen Wilson in eleven films.

1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

  (Drama, Comedy, Romance, Adventure, Fantasy)

2. Empire of the Sun (1987)

  (History, War, Drama)

3. Meet the Parents (2000)

  (Comedy, Romance)

4. There's Something About Mary (1998)

  (Romance, Comedy)

5. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

  (Comedy, Drama)

6. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)


7. Happy Gilmore (1996)

  (Sport, Comedy)

8. Tropic Thunder (2008)

  (Action, Comedy)


Primetime Emmy Awards
1993 Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program The Ben Stiller Show (1992)
MTV Movie & TV Awards
2005 Best Villain Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
2001 Best Comedic Performance Meet the Parents (2000)
1999 Best Fight There's Something About Mary (1998)

See the events in life of Ben Stiller in Chronological Order

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- Ben Stiller Biography
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Last Updated
- July 28, 2017
Ben Stiller

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