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Ben Stiller Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (45) | Personal Quotes (13) | Salary (7)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 30 November 1965New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameBenjamin Edward Stiller
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Benjamin Edward Stiller was born on November 30, 1965, in New York City, New York, to legendary comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. His father is of Austrian Jewish and Polish Jewish descent, and his mother is of Irish ancestry (she converted to Judaism).

It's not surprising that Ben has followed in his family's footsteps: his parents made no real effort to keep their son away from the Hollywood lifestyle and he grew up among the stars, wondering just why his parents were so popular. At a young age, he and his sister Amy Stiller would perform plays at home, wearing Amy's tights to perform Shakespeare. Ben also picked up an interest in being on the other side of the camera and, at age 10, began shooting films on his Super 8 camera. The plots were always simple: someone would pick on the shy, awkward Stiller...and then he would always get his revenge. This desire for revenge on the popular, good-looking people may have motivated his teen-angst opus Reality Bites (1994) later in his career. He both directed and performed in the film, which costarred Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke.

Before he even got his start in Hollywood, Ben put in several consistently solid years in the theater. After dropping out of UCLA, he performed in the Tony Award winner, "The House of Blue Leaves". While working on the play, Stiller shot a short spoof of The Color of Money (1986) starring him (in the Tom Cruise role) and his American Playhouse: The House of Blue Leaves (1987) costar John Mahoney (in the Paul Newman role). The short film was so funny that Lorne Michaels purchased it and aired it on Saturday Night Live (1975). This led to Ben spending a year on the show in 1989.

Ben made his big screen debut in Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun (1987) in 1987. Demonstrating early on the multifaceted tone his career would take, he soon stepped behind the camera to direct Back to Brooklyn for MTV. The network was impressed and gave Stiller his own show, The Ben Stiller Show (1992). He recruited fellow offbeat comedians Janeane Garofalo and Andy Dick and created a bitingly satirical show. MTV ended up passing on it, but it was picked up by Fox. Unfortunately, the show was a ratings miss. Stiller was soon out of work, although he did have the satisfaction of picking up an Emmy for the show after its cancellation.

For a while, Ben had to settle for guest appearance work. While he was doing this, he saved up his cash and in the end was able to scrape enough together to make Reality Bites (1994), now a cult classic which is looked upon favorably by the generation it depicted. Ben continued to work steadily for a time, particularly in independent productions where he was more at ease. However, he never quite managed to catch a big break. His first big budget directing job was Jim Carrey's The Cable Guy (1996). Although many critics were impressed, Jim Carrey's fans were not.

In 1998, There's Something About Mary (1998) had propelled Ben into the mainstream spotlight. With his wince-inducing turn in the Farrelly brothers' gross-out film, Ben really "struck a nerve" with mainstream America. Ben has starred in such hit movies as Keeping the Faith (2000) and Meet the Parents (2000). Ben excels at cerebral comedy, but he knows how to get down and lowbrow when he needs to, making him one of America's most popular performers.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Laffz00@aol.com

Spouse (1)

Christine Taylor (13 May 2000 - present) (2 children)

Trade Mark (4)

His characters are often arrogant and short tempered
Sarcastic deadpan disposition
Often plays characters who frequently find themselves in very embarrassing, awkward situations
Short but muscular frame

Trivia (45)

Produced a short film parody of The Color of Money (1986) entitled "The Hustler of Money" which got him noticed by Saturday Night Live (1975) who eventually offered him employment there.
Brother of Amy Stiller.
Engaged to Christine Taylor. [November 1999]
Longtime girlfriend was Jeanne Tripplehorn.
Is a major fan of Tom Cruise and has impersonated Tom for many years. He even portrayed Tom Cruise's fictitious crazed stunt double, Tom Crooze, on 2000 MTV Movie Awards (2000) on a segment called Mission: Improbable. (This segment is included on the Mission: Impossible II (2000) DVD.) Tom and Ben have been friends ever since 1996.
Appeared in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (1998) on May 9, 2001 and walked away with $32,000 for Project ALS. He phoned his mother, actress Anne Meara, for help but lost on the question worth $250,000.
Often casts/co-stars with Janeane Garofalo.
Ben and his wife Christine Taylor, have both guest starred on the TV-show Friends (1994), though not in the same episode.
Attended UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television.
Briefly appears in the film clip for the song "Tribute" by Tenacious D, a band that includes fellow actors Jack Black and Kyle Gass. He's one of the people walking past the studio booth in the shopping center.
Ranked #78 in Premiere's 2003 annual Power 100 List. Had ranked #68 in 2002 and #80 in 2001.
His famous parents, Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller, often make cameo appearances in his movies.
Has a Hollywood "clique" of close friends that have often appeared in his movies: Owen Wilson, Jack Black, Kyle Gass and Janeane Garofalo.
Helped Jenifer Estess raised millions of dollars to combat A.L.S. (Lou Gehrig's disease).
His favorite actress of all time is Diane Keaton. He even wrote an article about her for Premiere magazine in 1997.
Frequent co-star of Vince Vaughn, appearing with him in three movies in 2004 alone.
Is a member of, what the media refers to as, "The Frat Pack," along with Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Vince Vaughn, Steve Carell, Owen Wilson, and Luke Wilson. The "Frat Pack" name is a reference to the film, Old School (2003), featuring Vaughn, Ferrell and Luke Wilson, due to the wide number of films featuring the seven actors. Stiller's "Frat Pack" films include Zoolander (2001), Envy (2004), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)..
Is a big fan of Star Trek (1966). He named his production company "Red Hour Films" after an alien riot featured in the episode Star Trek: The Return of the Archons (1967). Has a humorous, You Tube website "gag" episode of "Star Trek" where he is imitating Shatner's Captain Kirk.
Holds a distinct Razzie Award record - nominated for most titles in one year. He was nominated in 2004 for Worst Actor in five of the six films in which he appeared: Along Came Polly (2004), Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004), Envy (2004), and Starsky & Hutch (2004). The only film he was not nominated in for that year was Meet the Fockers (2004).
Has played two very similar characters in the movies Heavy Weights (1995) and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004). In both films he plays an obnoxious, slightly insane and formerly overweight fitness instructor who's hell-bent on getting others into shape, and perhaps also on making other peoples' lives miserable.
Played the part of an arrogant director in Get Shorty (1995), but the scene was cut.
In The King of Queens: Shrink Wrap (2002) he played his own real-life father's father.
Hosted the MTV Movie Awards in 1996 along with Janeane Garofalo
He and wife Christine Taylor have both guest-starred on the TV series Arrested Development (2003). She played "Sally Sitwell", the love interest of "Michael Bluth" (two episodes) and he played the incompetent magician "Tony Wonder" in the episode "The Sword of Destiny".
One of his first showbiz jobs was working as an intern on the Alan Thicke show Thicke of the Night (1983).
His father is from an Ashkenazi Jewish family (from Austria and Poland). His mother, who is of Irish descent, is a convert to Judaism.
Was considered for the role of "Willy Wonka" in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005).
Revealed in 2005 that he has bipolar disorder and that it runs in his family.
His wife, Christine Taylor, appeared in one episode of Seinfeld (1989) as Jerry Seinfeld's girlfriend. His father, Jerry Stiller, had a recurring role on that series as George Costanza's father.
Every so often he and his father enjoy getting together and going to Alaska to fish in the summer.
2007 - Ranked #20 on EW's The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood.
In 2007, Forbes Magazine estimated his earnings for the year to be $38 million.
Along with Kirk R. Thatcher, one of the few actors to give William Shatner the middle finger (jokingly) on screen.
According to Jews Who Rock, a book by Guy Oseary, Stiller was once a drummer in a band called Capital Punishment.
Fractured his hand in a snowboarding accident on Sunday, December 21, 2008 and was taken to New York's Mount Sinai Hospital.
Auditioned for a part in Platoon, even meeting with Oliver Stone.
Admitted in a Playboy Magazine interview that he auditioned for three or four years before he got a part.
Longtime friend of actor Anthony Barrile. They met at 12 years old as members of First All Children's Theatre Company in New York City, where they were among the 'Meri-Mini Players'.
Lives in Los Angeles, California.
(May 10, 2010) Merited a position in Time magazine's - The 100 Most Influential People in the World ("Heroes" category) - with an homage contributed by friend Robert De Niro.
Along with Gerard Butler, Demi Moore, Susan Sarandon, and director Paul Haggis, he visited a camp for internally displaced persons managed by Sean Penn and his Jenkins-Penn Humanitarian Relief Organization in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. [April 2010]
Became a father for the 2nd time at age 39 when his wife Christine Taylor gave birth to their son Quinlin Dempsey Stiller on July 10, 2005.
Became a father for the 1st time at age 36 when his wife Christine Taylor gave birth to their daughter Ella Olivia Stiller on April 10, 2002.
Filming Tropic Thunder (2008). [July 2007]
Directed one Oscar nominated performance: Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder (2008).

Personal Quotes (13)

[on advice he receives from his father, Jerry Stiller] My father is always telling me to take care of myself and get a lot of rest. He's always saying, "Sleep will fix anything. Go take a nap". I think he's right. I find when I get frazzled, if I get a good night's sleep, I feel much better about things.
If my parents were, like, plumbers, who knows what I would be doing?
There's an old saying in Hollywood: It's not the length of your film, it's how you use it.
I have no problem with straight actors playing gay, but I always feel like I can tell. Does that sound horrible?
I have not been an easygoing guy. I think it's called bipolar manic depression. I've got a rich history of that in my family. Our family has publicly gone into therapy, so that's out in the open.
I pay a huge chunk of money to my agent and publicity people to shield me from my fan mail. I don't even want to know how many letters I get. I don't see fan mail as a good thing. It always makes me think of stalkers.
Normally, people tend to shut off their ambitions and competitive thinking because it doesn't help them much in normal life. But in the movie business you've constantly got to prove yourself. So I can be a real asshole on the set sometimes.
Show business is great, but when you're in a movie that made more than $120 million, the perspective changes. I'd never had the experience of being in a movie that so many people found funny. After the enormous success of There's Something About Mary (1998), I was able to command much more money and I got recognized more. But the reason for all this is only because the movie made money, not because I'm any more talented or better looking.
Every actor is out there trying to get parts, auditioning, going to acting class and creating a network of people who are in the same position you are. I couldn't sit around and wait to get work, because it wasn't happening. I would just try to create my own projects with friends who were filmmakers.
I think most actors have incredibly big egos, but they're also incredibly insecure. That's a bad combination. I include myself in this group. For whatever psychological reasons, we want and need approval from everybody in the universe, though we also think we're totally unworthy of it. We need to validate ourselves through our work.
(On his most memorable pre-acting job) For a summer I was a busboy and waiter at a place in New York called Cafe Central, which was a hip, trendy restaurant in 1985. First I bused tables and was really bad at it. I'm clumsy at carrying plates and glasses. You had to have a swiftness and a facility for carrying stacked objects. That wasn't me. I was interested in who was coming in, because it was an actor hangout. I would want to see who was talking to whom and what they were saying - basically, stuff you shouldn't do as a person of service. Dudley Moore came into the restaurant and I was really interested in what he was saying. I kept going over to make sure that he and his companion had enough coffee and that their plates were cleared. I think I really annoyed him. I kept changing the ashtrays with that move where you put the clean ashtray over the full ashtray and remove both and put back the clean ashtray. I think I did that one time too many. Then I became a waiter there, and dealing with orders and the kitchen was worse. It prompted me to get acting work.
(1998 quote on auditioning) It's hard to maintain a sense of dignity in an audition. I have done so many auditions where I've put it out there and have been met with that kind of blank stare - "Great! Thanks! OK! Great work! Thanks for coming in!" At the door I'm thinking, 'What the hell am I doing with my life?'
[on Zoolander (2001)] It wasn't a big hit. It came out 10 days after 9/11, so a strange time to release a movie but I'm not sure it wouldn't have been any bigger at any other time.

Salary (7)

There's Something About Mary (1998) $3,000,000
Zoolander (2001) $2,500,000
Meet the Fockers (2004) $10,000,000
Greenberg (2010) $6,000,000
Little Fockers (2010) $20,000,000
The Big Year (2011) $1,000,000 (producer)
Tower Heist (2011) $15,000,000

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