Stars including Leah Remini, Kevin James, Gary Valentine, Victor Williams, and Patton Oswald gathered to remember Stiller in a special way.
The King of Queens cast recently celebrated the show’s 25th anniversary, reuniting for a table read, Q&A session, and to pay tribute to late star Jerry Stiller.
As reported by Entertainment Weekly, past members of the show presented a heartfelt video as part of their homage to Stiller. The video, detailing the many accomplishments in the actor’s life, featured familiar faces including his son Ben, daughter Amy, Ray Romano, and Ricki Lake.
In the video, Ben talked about his father, explaining, “He made it from nothing. He had this dream of being an actor. Really an American dream story.”
“He left the house at 17 and joined the Army. He had a crazy childhood growing up during the Depression. I think he had all of this stuff inside of him that he kept down. He was such a kind person that he only let it out in his work,” Ben continued.
Ben further explained that his father’s work was his life, adding, “Acting was what kept him young, what kept him going, and the camaraderie that he had with his fellow actors on [The King of Queens], I know, meant so much to him.”
Kevin James And Leah Remini’s Reminisce On Their Time With Jerry Stiller
Kevin James and Leah Remini, who played the lead roles of Doug and Carrie on The King of Queens, also commented on the immense role Stiller played in their lives.
Remini tearfully recalled Stiller being a father figure, both on the show and behind the scenes.
“Jerry could’ve been in the first scene and they said, ‘It’s okay for you to go. You don’t have to stay all night while we’re filming,’ and he would stay,” the actress explained.
Remini continued, “Jerry knew that most people who came to the show wanted to meet Jerry. They’d get our picture and sign the script and they’d be like, ‘Is Jerry here? Is Jerry here?’ Because he talked to everybody.”
James reminisced about his time on set with Stiller, adding, “He cared so much about you—you know what I’m saying?”
“I remember—there was one taping we had where I was sick beforehand,” James said. He added, “I didn’t know if I could do the show. I had stomach pains and everything like that.”
The actor went on to describe the instance in which Stiller practically “healed” him backstage. After describing his uncomfortable symptoms to the comedian, James said that Stiller told him to “lay down” and lift up his shirt. Then, Stiller placed his hands on James’ stomach.
James recalled, “I’m just kinda looking at him and, honestly, a minute went by where nothing was said and his hands were hot and then he pulls ’em off and I don’t know if it was placebo or I just wanted him off of me, but I instantly felt better and was able to do the show.”
“He was an angel. He was a great man,” James finished.
Watch the full reunion and tribute to Jerry Stiller above.