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Ben Stiller on Jerry Stiller: 'Kind of an irreplaceable person'

Actor-filmmaker Ben Stiller, left, says he has been

Actor-filmmaker Ben Stiller, left, says he has been touched by all the people who have reached out to him to express how much they loved his father, comedian Jerry Stiller, who died on May 11. "It's been really heartwarming," Ben Stiller said. Credit: AP / Charles Sykes

Actor-filmmaker Ben Stiller reflects on his late father, famed comedian Jerry Stiller, in an interview slated to air this weekend.

"I'm doing OK,” Stiller, 54, assures host Willie Geist in a preview clip of NBC's "Sunday Today." "It's sad … when you lose a parent, and he was a great guy,” he says of Jerry Stiller, who died May 11, age 92, at home on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Acknowledging the many people who, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, are unable to be with their loved ones at the end, Stiller says, "I was fortunate enough that he could be at home, so [I'm] really grateful for that."

Jerry Stiller, who in addition to his famous role as Frank Costanza on the series "Seinfeld" had a decadeslong career in theater and film, "was kind of an irreplaceable person," says his son. "It's been really heartwarming to see how much he touched people, how beloved by people he was. I knew that" on an intellectual level, Stiller says, "but when something like this happens you really feel it. And I know that for him, he loved doing what he did and he loved connecting with people."

When asked how his father would have liked to have been remembered, Stiller says, "I think of the word generous and I think of funny — truly funny — and just a unique person. But I think that that energy that he put out into the world was so pure and so him, and … there was so much love in that for what he did and for the people he worked with."

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