Remembering Estelle Harris' Role in Seinfield: The Actress Has Passed Away at age 93

Remembering Estelle Harris' Role in Seinfield: The Actress Has Passed Away at age 93

Estelle Harris has passed away at the age of 93. 

The actress died of natural causes in Palm Desert, California. Her family announced the death in a statement to Deadline on Saturday.

"It is with the greatest remorse and sadness to announce that Estelle Harris has passed on this evening at 6:25 p.m.," her son Glen Harris said.

"Her kindness, passion, sensitivity, humor, empathy, and love were practically unrivaled, and she will be terribly missed by all those who knew her."

Estelle Harris was best known for portraying Estelle Costanza, Jason Alexander's mother, on Seinfeld, as well as Mrs. Potato Head in the last three Toy Story films.

She was also noted for her work in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Tarzan II, The Pinocchio Shop, and a slew of other memorable voice roles and commercials.

Estelle Harris' Role in Seinfield

Estelle Harris played Estelle Costanza in the popular American sitcom, Seinfeld. Mrs. Costanza made her first appearance on the show in the Emmy Award-winning episode "The Contest" in 1992.

Mrs. Constanza was Frank Costanza's domineering and stereotypical wife and mother of George Costanza.

The character became notorious for her love-hate relationship with her husband Frank and her regular tirades and scathing remarks directed at her son George over the course of six seasons.

Harris described Estelle Costanza as the "mother that everyone loves, even though she's a "pain in the neck" in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1998.

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In another old interview with CTVN, Harris stated that “nobody had a past” like Mrs. Costanza.

“I mean, that poor woman. She lived in that apartment that they got married in with the same furniture and the same husband and one son that was a loser. I mean, she had everything bad! I thought it was funny.” - Estelle Harris to CTVN

In a 2012 interview with The Canadian Press, Harris discussed her persona and that she had enjoyed earning exposure from younger fans in recent years:

“In the last year or two, all of a sudden these youngsters recognize me as Mrs. Costanza, Estelle Costanza. So we have a whole new age group, and I'm getting a lot of fan mail from these young people, too. I think 'Seinfeld,' because of the writing and the right cast, will go on for years and years.”

Estelle Harris was cast to play Mrs. Costanza in the fourth season of Seinfeld. She made her final appearance as the character in 1998 in The Finale, the show's last episode.

More about Estelle Harris

Estelle Harris was born Estelle Nussbaum on April 4, 1928, in Manhattan.

She took her first step in Hollywood with Looking Up and then Once Upon a Time in America before getting a 3-episode gig on Night Court. 

Estelle was married to her late husband Sy Harris from 1953 until his death in January 2021.

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The actress is survived by three children — Eric, Glen, and Taryn — three grandsons, and a great-grandson.

Dawn Williams
Dawn Williams

I'm spilling tea in here - tea without prejudice, offense, wrong assumptions, and anything that makes it taste bland. Look out for little thoughts in between my writings.