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Anne Meara
Anne Meara.jpg
Anne Meara appears as Veronica Olchin, Spence's mom, opposite her husband Jerry Stiller (Arthur Spooner) on "The King of Queens". series.
Vital statistics
Born: September 20, 1929
Birthplace Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died: May 25, 2015(2015-05-25) (aged 85)
Deathplace: Manhattan, New York City, NY
Occupation Actress, Comedian, Voice-over artist
Years active 1954-2015
Family and Personal
Spouse(s): Jerry Stiller, 1954-2015
Related to: comedian/actor Ben Stiller (son)
comedienne/actress Amy Stiller (daughter)
Character information
Appeared on: King of Queens
Appears as: Mary Finnegan in the episode titled "S'Ain't Valentine's" (Season 1, episode #16, 1998)
Veronica Olchin, 7 episodes in Seasons 5-7

Anne Meara (born September 20, 1929 – May 23, 2015) plays the part of Veronica Olchin, Spence's mom, and later Arthur Spooner's love interest, girlfriend, then wife, on the CBS sitcom The King of Queens, which is also her longtime husband, comedian/actor Jerry Stiller, who plays Arthur. Anne replaced actress Grace Zabriskie, who originally played the part of Veronica, after Zabriskie appeared in one episode, titled S'Aintt Valentine's (Season 1, episode #16), where Anne also appeared as Mary Finnegan in the episode. Anne and husband Jerry Stiller were a prominent 1960s-1980s comedy team, appearing as Stiller and Meara; they are also the parents of actor/comedian Ben and actress Amy Stiller.

Early life[]

Anne was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Irish immigrant parents, Mary (née Dempsey) and Edward Joseph Meara, a lawyer.[1][2][3] Meara was raised in Roman Catholicism, and converted to Reform Judaism six years after marrying Stiller.[4][5] She has long stressed that she did not convert at Stiller's request, but because "Catholicism was dead to me." She took the conversion seriously and studied the faith in such depth that her Jewish-born husband quipped, "Being married to Anne has made me more Jewish."[6]

Anne has written about her mother's death and her childhood experiences at Catholic boarding school.[7]


Anne and husband Jerry Stiller as the comedy team Stiller & Meara in the 1970s.


Anne was married to husband Jerry Stiller for 61 years, from 1954 until her death in 2015. Both were members of the improvisational comedy company The Compass Players (which later became The Second City), and the pair, as the comedy team Stiller and Meara, brought many of their real-life relationship foibles to bear on their often-improvised comedy routines. After some years honing the act, Stiller and Meara became regulars on The Ed Sullivan Show and other TV programs. Their career declined, however, as variety series gradually disappeared.

During the 1970s, Meara and Stiller wrote and performed many radio commercials together for Blue Nun Wine. She had a recurring role on the sitcom Rhoda as airline stewardess Sally Gallagher, one of the title character's best friends. She also had a small role opposite Sir Laurence Olivier in The Boys from Brazil (1978).

Meara costarred with Carroll O'Connor and Martin Balsam in the early 1980s CBS-TV hit sitcom Archie Bunker's Place, which was a continuation of the influential 1970s CBS sitcom All in the Family. She played the role of Veronica Rooney, the bar’s cook, for the show's first three seasons (1979–1982). She also appeared as the grandmother in the TV series ALF in the late 1980s. Her own 1986 FOX TV sitcom, The Stiller and Meara Show, in which Stiller played the deputy mayor of New York City and Meara portrayed his wife, a TV commercial actress, was unsuccessful, cancelled after a few episodes.

More recently, she has had recurring roles on the television shows Sex and the City (as Mary Brady) and The King of Queens (as Veronica). In the 2004-'05 season, she appeared in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Radio works[]

  • I'd Rather Eat Pants, National Public Radio, 2002
  • Dining Alone (Blue Nun wine ad with Jerry Stiller, winner Clio Award, 1975)

Stage/Theatrical work[]

She was the consulting director of J.A.P. - The Jewish American Princesses of Comedy, a 2007 Off-Broadway production that features live stand-up routines by four female Jewish comics juxtaposed with the stories of legendary performers from the 1950s and 1960s: Totie Fields, Jean Carroll, Pearl Williams, Betty Walker and Belle Barth.

Starting in October 2010, Meara and her husband Jerry Stiller began starring in a Yahoo! web series called Stiller & Meara produced by Red Hour Digital, a production company owned by their son Ben Stiller.[8][9] She accepted a role in the Off-Broadway play Love, Loss, and What I Wore for an April 27 through May 29, 2011 run with Conchata Ferrell, AnnaLynne McCord, Minka Kelly, and B. Smith.[10]


Meara died of natural causes at the age of 85 on May 23, 2015 at her home in Manhattan, New York.


External links[]