Ben Stiller

He's had his tackle caught in his fly, been interrogated by Robert De Niro, and provided Cameron Diaz with some 'strong hold' hair gel. Can nothing stem his creative juices?

Ben Stiller was born to comedy duo parents Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller (Frank Costanza in Seinfeld) and has a sister Amy, also an actress. Ben utilised his connections to land his first professional acting job in the 1985 Lincoln Center revival of the dark comedy, The House Of Blue Leaves. During its run, he produced a short parody of The Colour Of Money, entitled The Hustler Of Money, which brought him to the attention of the Saturday Night Live team, and he worked on the show as both a writer and an actor, returning several times after his film career took off.

In 1987, Ben made his film acting debut, in Steven Spielberg's Empire Of The Sun. In 1989, he was given his own half-hour comedy show on MTV, entitled The Ben Stiller Show. in 1994 he wrote and co-starred in Reality Bites.

1998 proved to be Ben's breakout year as a performer. He began with Zero Effect, and followed this with the Farrelly brothers' hit comedy, There's Something About Mary.

2000 saw Meet The Parents, co-starring Robert De Niro, which spawned a trilogy. In May 2001, Ben appeared on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? and walked away with £22,000 for charity.

Ben also returned to the big screen as a director and actor, helming and starring in Zoolander, a send-up of the modelling world. In 2002, he re-teamed with his Zoolander nemesis and frequent co-star Owen Wilson in The Royal Tenenbaums, a story co-written by Wilson and director Wes Anderson, about a dysfunctional family and their three genius children. Also starring Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Gwyneth Paltrow and Luke Wilson, the film was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar.

Despite his A-list status, Stiller is not shy about small roles in films, as highlighted by his cameos in movies including Orange County, Nobody Knows Anything!, Pauly Shore Is Dead and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, which was released in 2004.

The same year saw him team up with Vince Vaughn and Christine Taylor in the comedy Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Sticking with the same genre, he went on to appear in Starsky & Hutch (with Owen Wilson again) and Along Came Polly, serving as executive producer on the former.

In 2006 Stiller released Night at the Museum, which went on to spawn a sequel in the form of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009), both of which were box office successes. A third film in the series is forthcoming. Stiller also appeared in The Heartbreak Kid, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (a sequel to an earlier animation), and co-wrote and directed Tropic Thunder, a satirical action comedy featuring Jack Black and Robert Downey, Jr (who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as... an actor desperately trying to win an Oscar).

The 2010 comedy drama Greenberg earned Stiller Independent Spirit and Comedy Film Award nominations for his outstanding performance in the lead role. The same year also saw the release of the animation Megamind and another movie in his comedy franchise Meet the Parents: Little Fockers.

2011's Tower Heist, in which he co-starred with Eddie Murphy, was followed by 2013's The Secret life Of Walter Mitty, which Stiller produced, directed and starred in.

A winner of a Primetime Emmy award and several other accolades, Stiller is married to actress and frequent co-star Christine Taylor, although he was romantically linked to Jeanne Tripplehorn for a long time.