Actor Ben Stiller sent a touching message to fans via Twitter this morning, thanking them for their support.

Ben's mother, beloved actress and comedienne Anne Meara, passed away of natural causes on Saturday, aged 85.

Anne was best known for her roles on King of Queens and on Sex and the City, and she was also one half of the famous comedy due Stiller and Meara alongside her husband Jerry.

Two days after Anne's death, Ben addressed the news on Twitter, writing, "Thank you so much for all the kind words about Anne. All of us in our family feel so lucky to have had her in our lives."

The actor was pictured out for dinner with his wife Christine Taylor in Rome last night, where he is currently filming the Zoolander sequel. The pair looked subdued in dark clothing as they headed to a local restaurant.

A statement from the Stiller family yesterday read, "Anne's memory lives on in the hearts of daughter Amy, son Ben, her grandchildren, her extended family and friends, and the millions she entertained as an actress, writer and comedienne."

Meara and Jerry were awarded a joint star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007, cementing their place in film and TV history.

A number of Anne's fans and friends expressed their sadness at her passing via social media, including her King of Queens co-star Leah Remini:

Such a loss to the world of comedy.