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Married to Laughter: A Love Story Featuring Anne Meara Paperback – September 5, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st Touchstone Ed edition (September 5, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684869047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684869049
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,236,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Longtime comedic actor Stiller, noted for his performances with wife Anne Meara and for his turn as the combustible Frank Costanza on Seinfeld, offers engaging reflections on his life and work, plus anecdotes about a range of showbiz personages. Stiller's comedic impulses stem from childhood in poor Jewish neighborhoods in New York, where comedian Eddie Cantor's TV appearances could bring peace to Stiller's fractious parents. While Stiller doesn't overanalyze himself, he acknowledges a need for audience approval, something his more relaxed wife doesn't need as desperately. When the couple met, both were struggling actors, but Meara charmed Stiller with her spontaneous wit and optimism: she proposed to him. Striving to be "in the moment" and to bond with their audiences, the two didn't find instant success as a duo, though later their performances in nightclubs and on the Ed Sullivan show and their commercials for Blue Nun wine (the first successful comedic commercials) brought them celebrity. Still, an actor's path is unpredictable. Stiller found a second wind in the past decade when he was called to play Frank Costanza. "I can't do this guy subdued," Stiller declared to Seinfeld creator Larry David; his years of experience paid off in a memorable character that earned Stiller an Emmy nomination. Stiller says he's still learning about himself through his acting. Though he works less often with his wife, the two have strengthened their marriage by finding new curiosity in each other. Some readers might want to learn more about some aspects of Stiller's life, like his showbiz children (Amy and Ben), but he comes off as an endearing fellow who deserves his success. Agent, Peter Matson. 100,000 first printing. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Sheridan, who played Jerry's mother on Seinfeld, tells a smaller story. She depicts one year in her life when she was an aspiring dancer and in love with James Dean. Her story begins in the fall of 1951, before James Dean became the legend he is today. They were together in New York City a little over a year, until Dean was called to Hollywood. This story of two young people in love in a more idealistic time is a good depiction of what it was like struggling to make it in New York City in the early Fifties. Sheridan paints a very different picture of Dean than we have come to know from the countless biographies that have been written about him. Here, Dean is not the doomed, turbulent, brooding prince but sweet and considerate if still charismatic. Sheridan has not written about Dean until now but wanted to correct what has been written about her relationship with Dean and about Dean himself. Both books will please celebrity bio lovers. Sheridan's book is more of an indulgence, but library patrons can't seem to get enough of books about James Dean, so this would add a new dimension. Recommended for public libraries. [Stiller's book was previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/00.]DRosellen Brewer, Monterey Cty. Free Libs., Salinas, C.
-DRosellen Brewer, Monterey Cty. Free Libs., Salinas, CA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alter Wiener on July 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
Jerry Stiller's childhood, during the Depression, was difficult. His parents lived in public projects; they moved ten times in a dozen years. Stiller's father or "Deddy" a taxi and bus driver was often unemployed. The reader of MARRIED TO LAUGHTER finds out about Jerry's upbringing in lower East side of Manhattan and a glimpse of the hardship people had to endure during the Great Depression in the U.S. (1929-1933). The reader also gets a taste of the cultural values and religious tenets of Jerry's Jewish parents and relatives. It is troubling to notice how prejudice against Jewish and other immigrants prevailed in the U.S. or how Jerry had encountered bigots while serving in the US Army.

Jerry's courtship and eventual marriage to "angel faced" Irish Catholic girl named Anne Meara, is narrated humorously. Both were struggling actors for a long time. They started in the coffeehouses of Greenwich Village, on and off Broadway. Eventually they made a name for themselves and became well-known comedy actors. I was always impressed by their versatile acts on Ed Sullivan's Show where they appeared numerous times to rave reviews. Jerry states (p.81) "I learned that theater was a battlefield to capture people's hearts and minds." Years later, Jerry and Anne did capture people's hearts on TV, much larger audiences than theatre. They sparked laughter in their audiences, over fifty years in show business. The book is an easy read; it might enhance your knowledge from various angles.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
Ok, I'll admit it. I bought the book with the hope of getting a glimpse into the childhood and family life of Ben Stiller. I didn't find out much about him, but I did learn a lot about his parents. I first saw Jerry Stiller in Seinfeld, I had no idea what a long resume he had prior to that. I enjoyed every page of his book and didn't want it to end. He certainly has worked hard for all his fame and I appreciate that he shared so many stories with his honest feelings. Jerry and his wife are both extremely talented and versatile performers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William G. Straub on January 23, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jerry Stiller, in whatever devise he is in, cracks me up. He just takes his chosen lines and plays them like HE wants to. The books tells us of his life, starting on the streets of Brooklyn, meeting Anne who becomes his wife and comedic partner to Broadway, Seinfeld and at the end a call from CBS to play a crazy old man that lives in his daughter's basement on "The King Of Queens." He is the kind of person that one can't help but love and that love comes through the book. He tells all and is not ashamed of his misadventures, failures and faux pas. A great and very fast, enjoyable read about a classic comic/actor and gentleman. There will never again, ever be the likes of comic duos like Stiller and Meara.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tasha D. Staggers on October 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It's truth that Jerry is well known by two generations. But after reading this book, I didn't realize that he had such a wonderful career in the theater. I didn't know that went to the army, attended Syracuse University and worked with Joseph Papp. I also enjoyed reading the early years with his wife Anne and her private dealing with her mother's death and finding true love with Jerry even though their were both stuggling actors trying to make a name for themselvers. In the end, Stiller and Meara are now well-known comedy actors and now a new generation is enjoying the talents of their son, Ben Stiller.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marina Kushner on April 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
Comedian Jerry Stiller shares stories from his life that are sure to make you laugh and inspire you to work hard for your dream.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Just-Me on August 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Jerry, are you out there? I couldn't put your book down, it was like an afternoon with old friends. <SMILE> TERRIFIC !!
Seeing pictures of the kids when they were small brought back memories of "Benjie" and the (forever getting lost) "wah-wah" and what a terrific Daddy you were. One might not take my review seriously as I have loved you guys since the 60's. BUT...... to justify the 5 stars, I would not put my name on a review if I didn't believe what I wrote. Got that reader?
Reader, buy this book. You will understand the seemingly neurotic "Stiller" and the grounded "Meara". Anne is surely the love of Jerry's life and even after 40 years, he still wonders if "it will last". <smile> Seeing early pictures of Jerry will make the reader do a double take. Many of Jerry's pictures then, look just like Ben now. We see lovely Amy too. A good read and anyone who watched The Ed Sullivan Show will consider it a visit with old friends. Younger ones will think Frank Constanza. Jerry and Anne, THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES. I know you remember Ralph, the Announcer of The Sullivan Show.......... well.....check my last name and there you have it.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cliff Calhoun on November 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Great story about the life of Jerry Stiller and his experiences in life and show business. He leads you though his life with stories and lessons learned, and shares his love of his family and friends.
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