Anne Meara is an American actress and comedian. She is the parent of actor and comedian Ben Stiller.
Meara has been married to Stiller since 1954. Both were members of the improvisational 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 Laurence Olivier in The Boys from Brazil (1978).
In 1975 she starred in her own series Kate McShane on CBS, which she was nominated for an Emmy Award, but the series was cancelled after only 10 episodes.
Meara costarred with Carroll O'Connor and Martin Balsam in the early 1980s hit sitcom Archie Bunker's Place, which was a continuation of the influential 1970s 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). During that time, she also worked in the movie Fame, in which she played English teacher, Elizabeth Sherwood. She also appeared as the grandmother in the TV series ALF in the late 1980s. Her own 1986 TV sitcom, The Stiller and Meara Show, in which Stiller played the deputy mayor of New York City and Meara portrayed his wife, a television commercial actress, was unsuccessful.
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.
She is 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.
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.
She currently teaches a technique and scene study class at HB Studio.