According to news reports Glen Harris told Deadline that his mother, Estelle Harris (nee Estelle Nussbaum) born in Manhattan on 4 April 1928, died of natural causes on 2 April 2022 at the age of 93. Reports state Estelle passed away at 6.25pm in the evening in Palm Desert, California just two days shy of her 94th birthday and around 15 months after losing her husband, Sy Harris after 68 years of marriage. Estelle leaves behind three children.
Born to Polish immigrants, Estelle’s acting career started after her three children were old enough to attend primary school. After performing in dinner theatre and having been cast in television commercials in the early 1980’s, Estelle’s career kicked off when she landed a recurring role in the “Night Court” sitcom (1984-1992) and guest star roles in “Married…with children” and “Mad about You”.
Estelle is best known for her ‘nasally, high pitched and piercing voice’ that were instantly recognizable in such roles as Estelle Costanza in the 1990’s hit Seinfeld. Beginning in 1992, Estelle played the overbearing mother of George Costanza for almost a decade. Estelle also provided the voice for animated characters such as Timon’s mother in a spin-off of the Lion King, Mrs. Potato Head in the Toy Story franchise, and Audrey, a nervous hen in the Western comedy film “Home on the Range”. According to IMDb, these roles saw Estelle regarded as a veteran of the animation industry.
Upon hearing the news of her passing, fans across the world turned to social media in praise of Estelle’s accomplishments. Fans quoted iconic lines from hit shows such as Seinfeld “’I HAVE NO EYES FOR FASHION?!’ Estelle Harris was an icon, a legend, the moment. RIP.”
Another said “RIP Estelle Harris aka Estelle Costanza on my favourite show Seinfeld. A very funny lady who brought a lot of laughs to a lot of people. I truly wish you SERENITY NOW! You will be missed”
Another explained, “RIP Estelle Harris. You were always Mrs. Potato Head to me” whilst another post said, “RIP to one of the wildest, best Jewish mothers in TV history”.
Others remembered Estelle as “One of Seinfeld’s best characters even when she wasn’t ‘on screen’” and thanked her for “giving us the ICONIC Muriel.”
Estelle will be sorely missed. In the words of one fan, “You brought much joy when we needed a good laugh to escape the pressures of reality.”