Estelle Harris, who memorably played George’s mother Estelle Costanza on “Seinfeld” and was the indelible voice of Mrs. Potato Head in the “Toy Story” franchise, died on April 2 of natural causes at 93 years old, her representative Michael Eisenstadt confirmed to Variety.
Harris was best known for her distinctive voice and comedic timing, forever cemented by her role as the mother of George (Jason Alexander) in “Seinfeld,” where she appeared on 27 episodes. Her foil was Jerry Stiller, who played Frank Costanza, and the three characters engaged in countless scenes of lovable bickering.
She also had a robust voice career, anchored by her work as Mrs. Potato Head in the second, third and fourth chapters of the “Toy Story” series. Channelling the verve of her “Seinfeld” role, she had a loving and nagging relationship with Mr. Potato Head, perfectly voiced by Don Rickles. From there, she popped up in many animated projects large and small, including films such as “Brother Bear” (2003) and “Tarzan II” (2005) and series like “Hercules,” “The Wild Thornberrys” and “Godzilla: The Series” (all from 1998).
Harris’ career started with commercial work and two small roles in the 1977 films “Looking Up” and “Summerdog,” with bit parts in larger projects starting in the mid-’80s, including a small part in Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in America” (1984), a recurring role on “Night Court” and a guest spot on “Married… With Children.” More and more character work continued until her first episode of “Seinfeld” in 1992, which became her signature role.
Watch some of Harris’ best “Seinfeld” moments in the video below: