Benjamin Edward "Ben" Stiller (born Nov. 30, 1965 in New York City, New York) is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter and director. He is the son of comedians Jerry Stiller (best known to younger audiences as Frank Costanza or Arthur Spooner) and Anne Meara.
After beginning his acting career with a play, Stiller wrote several mockumentaries, was a cast member on Saturday Night Live (for all but four episodes during the show's 14th season. Stiller was let go because Lorne Michaels wasn't interested in his short filmsnote . Nonetheless, Stiller came back to host in 1998 and again in 2011, and even cameoed as Donald Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, in a few sketches), and was offered two of his own shows, both titled The Ben Stiller Show. After acting in a few films, Stiller had his directorial debut with Reality Bites, and has since written, starred in, directed, and/or produced over fifty films and television shows. His films have grossed more than $2.1 billion, with an average of $78 million per film, and starred in some of the most quotable comedies in the late 1990s and the Turn of the Millennium.
Stiller is a member of the comedic acting brotherhood colloquially known as the Frat Pack. He seems to have a thing for self-deprecation; his Jerkass As Himself roles on Extras and Curb Your Enthusiasm paint him in a hilariously unflattering light and his characters in his most successful movies thrive on his characters being humiliated, whether he is protagonist or antagonist. A lot of his characters also tend to have a hilarious Berserk Button. He also appeared as the minor character Tony Wonder (did somebody say "Wonder?") a Large Ham magician, on Arrested Development and notably created roles for his legendary parents in several of his films.
Heterosexual Life-Partners with Owen Wilson, whom he's collaborated with numerous times on-screen; Wilson once said that Stiller was more defensive about Wilson's signature crooked nose than he was. Also really good friends with Tom Cruise; Stiller helped revive the latter's career with a scene-stealing turn in Tropic Thunder and has done affectionate parodies of Cruise multiple times, most notably on Celebrity Jeopardy! and while hosting the MTV Movie Awards.
- Reality Bites (1994) - director and actor (playing Michael Grates)
- Heavy Weights (1995) - Tony Perkis
- The Cable Guy (1996) - writer/director; dual-role cameo as Sam & Stan Sweet
- There's Something About Mary (1998) - Ted
- Mystery Men (1999) - Mr. Furious
- Keeping the Faith (2000) - Rabbi Jacob Schram
- Meet the Parents (2000) / Meet the Fockers (2004) / Little Fockers (2010) - Gaylord "Greg" Focker
- The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) - Chas Tenenbaum
- Zoolander (2001) / Zoolander 2 (2016) - writer/director; Derek Zoolander
- Along Came Polly (2004) - Reuben Feffer
- DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story (2004) - White Goodman
- Envy (2004) - Tim Dingman
- Starsky & Hutch (2004) - David Starsky
- Madagascar (2005) / Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) / Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012) - Alex the lion
- Night at the Museum (2006) / Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009) / Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014) - Larry Daley
- The Heartbreak Kid (2007) - Eddie
- Tropic Thunder (2008) - writer/director; Tugg Speedman (and Tugg Speedman as Sgt. "Four-Leaf" Trayback)
- Megamind (2010) produced and cameoed as Bernard the night shift guy - built from a discarded early script intended for live-action.
- Tower Heist (2011) - Josh Kovacs
- The Watch (2012) - Evan Trautwig
- The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) - Walter Mitty
- The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017)