Adored entertainer Estelle Harris, Estelle Harris, who played George Costanza’s mother Estelle on Seinfeld and voiced Mrs. Potato Head in the animated film Toy Story, has died at the age of 93.
According to her son Glen Harris, the actress died of natural causes on Saturday night at her home in Palm Desert, California. She was only a few weeks away from her 94th birthday, which would have been on April 22.
Glen expressed that it is with regret and grief that I announce the death of Estelle Harris this evening at 6:25 p.m. He added that he held his mother before ‘she drew her final breath.’ Her compassion, energy, sensitivity, humour, empathy, and love were nearly unsurpassed, and she will be dearly missed by all who knew her.
She was born in Manhattan in April 1928 to Polish immigrants who managed a sweets business. She grew up in a Pittsburgh suburb before returning to the city to marry her husband, Sy Harris. Eric, Glen, and Taryn were the couple’s three children.
Although she died of natural causes, the actress had cancer removed from her nose in 2013. Harris had a little operation to remove the malignant cells and had to wear a small Band-Aid on the tip of her nose. ‘No, I didn’t have a nose operation,’ she said during the Hollywood premiere of her latest film, CBGB, in 2013.
She assured her supporters that the doctors had ‘got it all out.’
She began performing in various amateur community theatres while raising her kids in 1977 and gradually rose to popularity, appearing in The Suite Life of Zach and Cody, iCarly, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Proud Family, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and other shows.
She made her start on Looking Up and then Once Upon a Time in America before landing a three-episode deal on Night Court.
Between 1992 to 1998, the New York City native featured in 27 episodes of Seinfeld, portraying a character who, oddly, had the similar name as her.
When asked about her favourite episode of the successful show, the fiery personality responded with a surprising response: ‘Oh, the masturbation,’ she simply answered. ‘The competition.’
She was also noted for her role as Mrs. Potato Head in Toy Story 2, 3, and 4. Her most recent film was Toy Story 4.
Over the course of her 45-year career, she appeared in over 100 films and became regarded as a maternal figure, frequently playing the mother in television series.
In 1995, she told the Chicago Tribune that she is the global mother. Blacks, Asians, WASPs, Italians, and Jews all exclaim that Harris is just like her mother which made her feel happy.
Having played outspoken characters, she never depicted herself as such, stating, ‘I speak up, but I don’t want to harm people’s feelings.’ We’re all in this together. We all have to face mortality, therefore the simpler we can make it for one another, the better.’
She likewise became known as the Queen of Commercial on According to Deadline, she was also regarded as the Queen of Commercial on Madison Avenue because of her distinct voice. She was noted for booking as many as 25 ads every year.
‘Her love was her job, and her work was her passion,’ Glen explained. The legendary actress leaves behind three children, three grandchildren, and an ncredible-grandson.
Fans and co-stars paid tribute to the adored actress on social media. ‘Estelle Harris was witty, attractive, compassionate, and immensely brilliant!’ said former co-star Giselle Eisenberg. We worked together on a commercial once, and she told the director, “I’m not doing another take until you agree to give Giselle this outfit to keep!”
They gave me the gown. I shall treasure my friendship with Estelle for the rest of my life.’
May this wonderful personality’s soul rest in peace.