Tuesday, April 16, 2024

‘Seinfeld’ Star And ‘Toy Story’ Voice Actress Estelle Harris Dies At 93

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SEINFELD — “The Shower Head” Episode 15 — Pictured: (l-r) Estelle Harris as Estelle Costanza, Jason … [+] Alexander as George Costanza, Jerry Stiller as Frank Costanza (Photo by Margaret Norton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Actress Estelle Harris, who is remembered for her recurring role as George Costanza’s (Jason Alexander) nagging mother on classic NBC sitcom Seinfeld, died Saturday of natural causes in Palm Desert, California. She was just two days short of her 94th birthday.

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

Born Estelle Nussbaum on April 4, 1928 in Manhattan, New York, Harris began her career in amateur productions and in dinner theater. In 1977, she made her film debut in Looking Up, the tale of three generations of a middle-class New York Jewish family.

Eventually, Harris segued onto television in a series of commercials (including Handi-Wrap II), and in guest appearances on comedies like Night Court, Married…With Children, Brooklyn Bridge and Mad About You. Her first recurring role was on short-lived 1993 CBS sitcom Good Advice opposite Shelley Long and Treat Williams, which were followed by more guest roles. But it was comically grating Estelle Constanza on Seinfeld that lifted her to great notoriety.

While recurring on Seinfeld, Harris made appearances on TV shows like Star Trek: Voyager, The Tick, Living Single and Cybill. In 1999, she provided the voice of Mrs. Potato Head in Toy Story II and would continue to reprise the role for the franchise in the third and fourth isntallments.

Harris’ other film credits included Promoted, CBGB, Playing Mona Lisa, Dancing in September, What’s Cooking?, Lost & Found, My Giant, The Odd Couple II, Chairman of the Board, Out to Sea, Downhill Willie, Perfect Alibi, This Is My Life, Stand and Deliver, Once Upon a Time in America, and Summerdog.

Harris is survived by her children Eric, Glen and Taryn, as well as three grandsons and a great-grandson.

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