Estelle Harris, who played George Costanza’s (Jason Alexander) mother Estelle on the iconic NBC sitcom Seinfeld, died Saturday evening of natural causes in Palm Desert, California, just weeks before her 94th birthday.
“It is with the greatest remorse and sadness to announce that Estelle Harris has passed on this evening at 6:25pm,” her son Glen Harris, who held her as she drew her final breath, 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 in New York City on
Harris is also known for voicing Mrs. Potato Head in three installments of Pixar’s Toy Story franchise (2, 3 and 4) and a number of additional shorts. 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, Summerdog and Looking Up.
Boasting comedic gifts and a unique voice, Harris was at one point known on Madison Avenue as the “Queen of Commercials,” having been known to book as many as 25 national TV spots in a single year. “Her passion was her work,” said Glen Harris, “and her work was her passion.”
Harris is survived by a total of three children, as well as three grandsons and a great-grandson. Plans for a memorial have not been disclosed.
Alexander paid tribute to Harris on Twitter following the news of her death.
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
— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) April 3, 2022