Anne Meara, the comedy actress wife of Jerry Stiller and mother of Ben and Amy Stiller, died in Manhattan last Saturday at the age of 85.
As the Irish Catholic half of the comedy team of Stiller and Meara, she made many appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and other TV programs.
A lot of their humor focused on their different religious backgrounds, but actually Meara converted to Reform Judaism six years after marrying Stiller.
According to the biographical website NNDB,
She has long stressed that her conversion wasn't at Stiller's request, but because "Catholicism was dead to me", and she simply came to prefer the more "lively" character of Jewish culture. And she took the conversion seriously, studying the faith in such depth that her born-Jewish husband quipped, "being married to Anne has made me more Jewish".Here is a video clip of Stiller and Meara in a skit about computer dating when it was first introduced.
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)
(A tip of the kippah to Meyer Berkowitz for bringing this to our attention.)