‘Seinfeld’ Actress Estelle Harris Dead at 93

By Asim Bharwani - originally posted to Flickr as Ponyo - USA premiere, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=116633278

“Seinfeld” star Jason Alexander paid tribute to Estelle Harris, who played his hilariously nosy mother for years on the hit nineties’ sitcom.

“One of my favorite people has passed – my tv mama, Estelle Harris,” Alexander tweeted on Sunday. “The joy of playing with her and relishing her glorious laughter was a treat. I adore you, Estelle. Love to your family. Serenity now and always.”

“Thanks to you all for your kind and sweet messages and remembrances of #EstelleHarris. She would be so touched. As am I,” he wrote in follow-up. “And as she would say, “WHY CANT YOU BE MORE LIKE LLOYD BRAUN!!??””


Harris died on Saturday night in Palm Desert, California of natural causes, just weeks shy of her 94th birthday, according to her real-life son Glen Harris. 

“It is with the greatest remorse and sadness to announce that Estelle Harris has passed on this evening at 6:25pm,” he said. “Her kindness, passion, sensitivity, humor, empathy and love were practically unrivaled, and she will be terribly missed by all those who knew her.”

Harris played the overbearing Costanza matriarch opposite Jerry Stiller, who died in 2020 of natural causes, from 1992 to 1998. “Estelle is a born performer,” Stiller said about his onscreen wife in 1998. “I just go with what I got, and she goes back at me the same way.”  

“She is the mother that everybody loves, even though she’s a pain in the neck,” Harris said about her character the same year, but noted that Estelle is a relatable character. “Black people, Asians, WASPs, Italians, Jews — they all say, ‘Oh, you’re just like my mom.’” 

After “Seinfeld” wrapped, Harris channeled her voice into the “Toy Story” franchise’s Mrs. Potato Head, which ended up being the last role of her career, when she appeared in 2019’s fourth installment. 

She also did voiceover stints on animated shows “Family Guy,” “House of Mouse,” “Kim Possible,” “American Dad!,” and “Futurama,” amongst others. 

Her notable film credits included 1984 Robert DeNiro flick “Once Upon a Time In America,” 1988’s “Stand and Deliver,” 1998’s “The Odd Couple II,” “What’s Cooking” in 2000.

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