The son of the New York comedy team Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller, Ben Stiller went from making short comedy films in the early 1990s to starring in box office hits such as There's Something About Mary (1998) and Meet the Parents (2000, opposite Robert DeNiro). Stiller started out in the movies in a bit part in Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun (1988). He had a short-lived stint on MTV in 1990, and in 1992 landed his own comedy sketch show on the Fox network. A critic's favorite that helped launch the careers of Andy Dick and Janeane Garofalo, the show was nonetheless cancelled after 12 episodes. Ben Stiller then directed Reality Bites (1994, with Winona Ryder), and its success led to directing Jim Carrey in The Cable Guy (1996). Stiller has since become a staple of box office comedies, appearing in about four movies a year and popping up on TV on shows such as Arrested Development and The Simpsons. His films include Mystery Men (1999, with William H. Macy); Zoolander (2001, with frequent co-star Owen Wilson); The Royal Tenenbaums (2001, co-starring Gene Hackman); Along Came Polly (2004, with Jennifer Aniston); Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004, with Vince Vaughn; Meet the Fockers (2004, with Barbra Streisand; Madagascar (2005, as the voice of Alex); Night at the Museum (2006, with Dick Van Dyke); and Tropic Thunder (2008, starring Robert Downey, Jr.). He stars as famous nebbish Walter Mitty in the feature The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, due for release in December 2013.