Jerry Stiller to Make Cameo in Hairspray Film, Waters Too

By: Sep. 14, 2006
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Existing user? Just click login. has learned that Jerry Stiller (who played Wilbur Turnblad in the original 1988 film) will be making a cameo appearance in the upcoming Hairspray film in the role of "Mr. Pinky." The writer / director of the 1988 Hairspray film, John Waters,  will have a cameo in the film as well. Currently filming in Toronto, Hairspray will open in movie theaters on July 20th, 2007.

These two cameos will appear alongside a stellar cast that includes
John Travolta as Edna Turnblad, Christopher Walken as Wilbur Turnblad, Queen Latifah as Motormouth Maybelle, Michelle Pfeiffer as Velma Von Tussle, Brittany Snow as Amber Von Tussle, Zac Efron as Link Larkin, Elijah Kelley as Seaweed, James Marsden as Corny Collins, Allison Janney as Prudy Pingleton and newcomer Nikki Blonksy as Tracy Turnblad, who helps to integrate a Baltimore dance show-and wins the heart of Link in the process.

Comedian Jerry Stiller made his 1951 professional stage debut in The Silver Whistle, a play that starred Burgess Meredith. After some time spent as a stock actor, Stiller first became nationally known as half of the comedy duo Stiller and Meara, with his wife Anne Meara. Later, they were part of the improvisational team "The Compass Players" (which would become "The Second City"). The pair 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.

Stiller continued to perform and write through the decades, often in television guest roles as well as occasional dramatic appearances on television and stage. Beginning in the 1990s his career experienced a resurgence with a recurring role as George Costanza's father Frank in Seinfeld from 1993 to 1998 and as the similar character of Arthur Spooner in The King of Queens from 1998 to the present.

John Waters is one of the founders of the American independent film movement, who transformed American cinema with his radical sensibility that gave us Pink Flamingos, the screen gimmick Odorama, the immortal Divine, the phenomenon of midnight movies, and Baltimore, Maryland as a film capital.  As America's trash-auteur, author, social critic, debonair lover of the lurid, and provocateur, he has rejoiced in shocking and charming audiences throughout the world.  Mr. Waters is the writer-director of the films Cecil B. Demented (2000), Pecker (1998), Serial Mom (1994), Cry-Baby (1990), Hairspray (1988), Polyester (1981), Desperate Living (1977), Female Trouble (1974), Pink Flamingos (1972), Multiple Maniacs (1970), and Mondo Trasho (1969).  He is the author of four books: Shock Value, Trash Trio, Crackpot, and Director's Cut.

The film version of Hairspray will be directed by Adam Shankman (Bringing Down the House) and produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, for their Zadan/Meron Productions, which previously executive produced the Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning Best Picture Chicago. 

Hairspray is originally based on the 1988 John Waters comedy. The new version of the film will be based on New Line's hit Broadway adaptation of the film, which debuted in 2002, and went on to win eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book and Best Director. 

Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman will contribute new songs to their existing Tony Award-winning score. Shaiman will also serve as the film's music supervisor and will compose the music score for the film as well as produce its songs. Wittman and Shaiman will also serve as executive producers on the film. The new screenplay for Hairspray will be written by Leslie Dixon (Freaky Friday, Outrageous Fortune).

Toby Emmerich, New Line's president of production, is overseeing the project along with New Line's Executive VP of Production Mark Kaufman, and Creative Executives Michael Disco and Daryl Freimark.

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