Estelle Harris has died aged 93. The actress was a memorable figure in “Seinfeld” where she played mother George Costanza. She was also the original voice of Madame Patate in “Toy Story”.
George Costanza’s mother in Seinfeld
Seinfeld is probably one of the best sitcoms offered by American television. Broadcast between 1989 and 1998 by NBC, the series featured jerry Seinfeld in his everyday life with his friends George and Elaine as well as its exuberant neighbor Kramer. This show that told nothing (“about nothing‘ as Seinfeld and Larry David pitched it to NBC) had a clear influence on shows like Friends and How I Met Your Mother.
Among the secondary characters, we obviously remember George’s mother brilliantly embodied by Estelle Harris. A cantankerous mother who never laughed in her life. And so a pretty awesome comedy tool in the series. Unfortunately, we learn through Deadline that the actress is passed away on Saturday, April 2, a few days away from celebrating its 94th birthday. One died of natural causes at her home in Palm Desert, California.
The career of Estelle Harris
Before becoming this iconic character of Seinfeld, Estelle Harris had the opportunity to shoot in films and series. In particular, she participated in Once upon a time in America (1984) by Sergio Leone, where she plays the mother of young Peggy. She has also lent her voice to animated films, more particularly Toy Story. Estelle Harris is indeed the voice of Mrs. Potato in the original version of Toy Story 2 (1999) and the following opuses. You can also hear it in Bears’ brother (2003) and Tarzan 2: Childhood of a Hero (2005).
Following the announcement of his death, Jason Alexander the interpreter of George in Seinfeld wanted to pay tribute to his fictitious mother. In a Tweet, he writes about it:
One of my favorite people has died – my TV mom, Estelle Harris. The joy of playing with her and savoring her glorious laughter was a treat. I love you, Estelle. My love to your family. Serenity now and always.
You can find Estelle Harris in the series Seinfeld, available in full on Netflix.