King of Queens Cast Remembers Late Jerry Stiller During Virtual Reunion: 'Just the Greatest'
Jerry Stiller will always be a beloved member of The King of Queens family.
The cast got together for a virtual charity reunion on Friday, where they held a table read of a classic episode of the sitcom in honor of Stiller, who died last year at the age of 92.
"He was the dad, he was the one in his undershirt after the show wrapped. Jerry could have 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," recalled Leah Remini, who played Stiller's daughter on the sitcom.
Remini, 50, also remembered how generous Stiller was with his time. "He talked to everybody," she said. "He would just talk to you because he just loved people and he was so gracious in that way. He was that guy that just was willing to tell you a story — many stories."
"He could get laughs with just hello — I don't know how he did it, it was amazing," added Patton Oswalt.
Kevin James remembered how Stiller once went out of his way to help him when James was sick.
"He cared so much about you," said James, 55. "I remember, there was one taping we had where I was sick beforehand … and Jerry came backstage to my dressing room and he goes, 'Can I help you?'"
From there, James recalled Stiller telling him to lie down and take his shirt off before putting his hands on his costar's stomach.
"He was there for a very long time," the actor said. "I don't know if it was placebo or I just wanted him off me, but I instantly felt better and was able to do the show."
"I miss him so much — he's just the greatest," James added. "A lot of people see him how he acts, the cranky old man yelling and screaming, but it was the opposite of who he was. He's an angel."
The late comedy legend's children, Ben and Amy Stiller, also shared a few words about their father in a special video tribute.
"He made it from nothing," Ben, 55, said in the video. "He had a crazy childhood growing up during the depression. I think he had all the stuff inside him that he pushed down, but he was such a kind person, he only let it down in his art."
"Work was his life and acting was what kept him young, what kept him going," he added. "And the camaraderie that he had with his fellow actors on the show I know meant so much to him."
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In honor of Stiller, the reunion was held to raise money and awareness for Henry Street Settlement, a New York City-based organization where the actor got his start in theater.
"Those of us who made The King of Queens are incredibly excited to reunite in honor of our recently departed friend — the uniquely funny, sweet, incomparable Jerry Stiller," series co-creator and executive producer Michael J. Weithorn said in a statement. "We have no doubt Jerry will be watching and screaming down at us from heaven."
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