Actress and comedian Anne Meara dies aged 85

The mother of Ben Stiller and wife of comedy partner Jerry passed away after a long and varied career that included roles in All My Children and Sex and the City

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Actress and comedienne Anne Meara – best known for being one half of comedy act Stiller & Meara – has passed away, aged 85.

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A statement released by The Stiller family – husband Jerry, daughter Amy and son Ben – confirmed that Meara died on Saturday. The cause of death is unknown.

“The Stiller family is deeply saddened to share the beloved Anne Meara passed away last night at the age of 85,” says an official statement. “She is survived by her husband and partner in life Jerry Stiller. The two were married for 61 years and worked together almost as long.

“Anne’s memory lives on in the hearts of daughter Amy, son Ben, her grandchildren, her extended family and friends, and the millions she entertained as an actress, writer and comedienne.”

Meara and her husband met in 1953 and married the following year. Together they found fame in the 1960s, performing regularly as comedy act Stiller & Meara on The Ed Sullivan Show.

The pair wrote and performed radio and TV commercials together, and Meara starred in early 1980s sitcom Archie Bunker’s Place for which she won two Emmy nominations. She also enjoyed a long-running role as Peggy Moody in All My Children, and recurring parts in Rhoda, The King of Queens and Sex and the City, playing Miranda’s mother-in-law Mary Brady.

Meara and her husband also shared the screen with their actor son Ben on several occasions, including films Heavyweight, Highway to Hell ,The Independent and, most recently, Zoolander which the younger Stiller also directed.

The pair received a star on the Hollywood walk of fame in 2007.

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Steve Martin and Sarah Silverman are among those who have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to the actress and comedian: