Seinfeld's Estelle Harris Dead at 93

Estelle Harris, who played George Costanza's mother on Seinfeld and Mrs. Potato Head in the Toy Story movies, has died. Read Jason Alexander's tribute to his TV mom.

By Corinne Heller Apr 03, 2022 2:59 PMTags
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Estelle Harris, who famously played George Costanza's mother on the '90s sitcom Seinfeld, has passed away. She was 93 years old.

The actress died of natural causes in Palm Desert, Calif. on Saturday, April 2, exactly 20 days before her 94th birthday. Deadline reported that her son, Glen Harris, held her as she passed away.

"It is with the greatest remorse and sadness to announce that Estelle Harris has passed on today, leaving a hole in my heart too deep to describe," he said in a statement to E! News through the actress' agent. "Her kindness, passion, sensitivity, humor, empathy and love were practically unrivaled, and she will be terribly missed by all those who knew her."

Jason Alexander, who played her son on Seinfeld, paid tribute to Harris on Twitter, writing, "One of my favorite people has passed - my tv mama, Estelle Harris. 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. #RIPEstelleHarris"

Their co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who played Elaine Benes on the show, tweeted, "RIP Estelle Harris. I love you. #serenitynow."

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Harris, a native New Yorker born Estelle Nussbaum, began her onscreen career in the late '70s, later getting roles on TV shows such as Night Court and Married... With Children before being cast on Seinfeld. She appeared on 27 episodes of the '90s sitcom Seinfeld, during which she often bickered with George and her husband, played by Jerry Stiller, who died at age 92 in 2020.

Also in the '90s, Harris guest starred on shows such as Star Trek: Voyager and Moesha. Known for her distinct voice, she also portrayed characters on animated programs such as The Wild Thornberrys and Disney's Hercules before making her debut as Mrs. Potato Head in the film Toy Story 2, alongside the late Don Rickles' character, Mr. Potato Head. She reprised the role in the next two movies in the Disney-Pixar franchise. Toy Story 4, released in 2019, marked her final role.

Beck Starr/WireImage

In addition to Glen, Harris is survived by two other children, as well as three grandsons and a great-grandson. "She always adored meeting and greeting children of all ages everywhere she went – and of course making them laugh," read her obituary, provided by her agent. "Her passion was her work, and her work was her passion."

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