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Estelle Harris, aka Mrs. Costanza From Seinfeld, Dead At 93

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  • Posted on 08th Apr, 2022 20:10 PM
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Estelle Harris, who was best known for playing Mrs. Potato Head in the Toy Story movies and Estelle Costanza on Seinfeld, has passed away.

p>Estelle Harris, star of Seinfeld and the Toy Story sequels, has passed away at the age of 93, leading to an outpouring of condolences from those who worked with her.

Comedy can be over-simplified as material that makes the audience laugh, but there are so many versatile ways to do that with not many people who can pull it off. Harris, who is best known for playing Estelle Costanza on the legendary NBC sitcom Seinfeld, was one of those people.

RELATED: Seinfeld: George And Jerry Have The Best Sitcom Parents

Harris' death was announced on April 2nd by her son Glen Harris to the Hollywood Reporter. Harris, who was 20 days away from turning 94 years old, died of natural causes. Following her death, her TV son Jason Alexander, who played George Costanza, tweeted out his support, calling her one of his favorite people. "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," Alexander said. Unlike many others who shared the same profession, Harris didn't get her start in Hollywood right away. She got her first film role in 1977 when she was cast in Looking Up as she was approaching 50. Her casting as Estelle Costanza in Seinfeld was her big break in Hollywood, as her first appearance on the show was the genesis of what many believe is its best episode, "The Contest." Evidently her performance impressed the cast and crew enough that she appeared in 27 episodes of Seinfeld in total.

window.arrayOfEmbeds["1510499343060508673"] = {'embedded_twitter' : '"<blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"><p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\">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. <a href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/hashtag\/RIPEstelleHarris?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\">#RIPEstelleHarris<\/a><\/p>&mdash; jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) <a href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/IJasonAlexander\/status\/1510499343060508673?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\">April 3, 2022<\/a><\/blockquote>\n\n"'};
window.arrayOfEmbeds["1510640349588307973"] = {'embedded_twitter' : '"<blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"><p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\">RIP Estelle Harris. I love you. <a href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/hashtag\/serenitynow?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\">#serenitynow<\/a> <a href=\"https:\/\/t.co\/OtIpda4Haw\">https:\/\/t.co\/OtIpda4Haw<\/a><\/p>&mdash; Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) <a href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/OfficialJLD\/status\/1510640349588307973?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\">April 3, 2022<\/a><\/blockquote>\n\n"'};

Harris is not the only Seinfeld alum who has died in recent years. Her on-screen husband Jerry Stiller, who played Frank Costanza, died at the age of 93 in May 2020. Among other Seinfeld actors who have passed on are Barney Martin, who played Jerry Seinfeld's father Morty, who died in 2005. Len Lesser, who played Jerry's boisterous uncle Leo, passed away in 2011. Other recurring characters have also passed on, most notably Ian Abercrombie, who played the snooty and hilarious Mr. Pitt in the show's sixth season and died in 2012.

The fact that her performance as Mrs. Costanza in Seinfeld still resonates with audiences to this day goes to show not only how well the show holds up, but also her comedic genius as an actress. To this day, Sefineld is still regarded as arguably the best show ever made because of how groundbreaking and impactful the comedy was. For something like that to happen, every character has to be played to absolute perfection. Harris played her part so well that no one else could have played Mrs. Costanza better than her.

Seinfeld was such a groundbreaking show in part because it was one of the first to revolve around relatable albeit horrible people, which was unheard of back in the late-1980s/early-1990s. Harris' portrayal of Mrs. Costanza certainly fell into what Seinfeld was all about, as she too portrayed a relatable albeit far-from-perfect mother. Her performance undoubtedly paved the way for other flawed-but-relatable TV mothers that followed in her footsteps, like Lois from Malcolm in the Middle and Rochelle in Everybody Hates Chris.

Seinfeld can currently be watched on Netflix.

MORE: Seinfeld: What Comedy Writers Can Learn From Jerry And George's Failed Pilot

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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