NEW YORK (AP)

Estelle Harris, who went down in television history as George Constanta’s mother in Seinfeld and voiced Mrs. Potato Head in the Toy Story franchise, has died. She was 93 years old.

As a middle-class patroness of Estelle Constanta, Harris has left an unforgettable mark on her recurring role in the grand sitcom of the 1990s. With her high voice and humorous attitude she was the archetype of maternal indignation.

By exchanging insults and absurdities with her screen husband, played by Jerry Steeler, Harris helped create a parenting couple in which even a psychiatrist could do nothing but hope to move to Florida – as their son, played by Jason Alexander, fruitlessly encouraged them. before that.

Harris agent Michael Eisenstadt confirmed the actor’s death in Palm Desert, California, on Saturday night.

Harris often said that viewers of different backgrounds told her she was the same as their own mothers.

“She’s a mother everyone loves, even though she has a neck pain,” she told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1998.

The role that defines a career came after decades on stage and on screen. Born April 22, 1928 in New York City, Harris grew up in the city and then in the Pittsburgh suburb of Torrent, Pennsylvania, where her father owned candy. She began using her comedic talents in high school performances, where she realized she could “make the audience hysterical,” as she told People magazine in 1995.

After the nine-season Seinfeld show ended in 1998, Harris continued to appear on stage and on screen. Among other roles, she voiced Mrs. Potato Head in the 1999 animated blockbuster “Toy Story 2” and played the character Muriel in the popular sitcom “The Life of Zack and Cody” on Disney.

She stopped doing show business when she got married in the early 1950s, but resumed filming in amateur bands, dinner dinners and commercials when her three children grew up (“I needed to get out of diapers and bottles and blah blah baby conversations, ”she told People). Eventually, she began appearing in guest roles on TV shows, including the legal comedy Night Court, and in films including the gangster epic directed by Sergio Leone, 1984’s Once Upon a Time in America.

Her debut in “Seinfeld” took place in one of the most famous episodes of the show: “Competition”, which won the Emmy Award in 1992, in which the four central characters challenge each other to refrain from what is skillfully described only as ».

Harris continued to appear in dozens more episodes of “The Show About Nothing.” She boiled over the ugly paella, whimpered about George’s panties in her parents’ bed, and unfolded the cover for Frank’s husband’s special holiday, Festivus.

“Estelle is a born performer,” Steeler told The Record of Bergen County, New Jersey, in 1998. “I just go with what I have, and she responds to me in the same way.”

However, Harris noticed in her characters a tinge of sympathy, often saying that Estelle was disappointed because of her incompetent companion and cunning slacker with her son.

Viewers, she told the interviewer in 1998, “just look at her as funny, cute and screaming. But that’s not the way I play it. I play it with misfortune.

She is survived by three children, three grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

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