Estelle Harris, known for role on “Toy Story” and “Seinfeld” has died at 93, Harris, whose distinctive voice was sought after in various roles, unforgettably played Estelle Costanza on the 90s sitcom, often bickering with her on-screen husband Jerry Stiller and her fictional son, Jason Alexander.
“It is with tremendous regret and grief that I must inform you that Estelle Harris passed away today, leaving a hole in my heart too deep to express,” her son Glen Harris said in a statement issued by her agent Michael Eisenstadt. “Her compassion, passion, sensitivity, humour, empathy, and love were nearly unequalled, and all who knew her will be greatly missed.”
According to the statement, Harris was born in New York City and raised in a small coal mining community in Pennsylvania. After returning to New York, she married and had three children.
Estelle Harris began acting in community theaters before moving on to regional theaters and summer stock productions across the country.
She later rose to fame on Madison Avenue, where she starred in up to 25 national television advertisements in a single year, garnering her the moniker “Queen of Commercials,” according to the statement.
Estelle Harris voiced Potato Head in the “Toy Story” trilogy, as well as other animated characters in “Tarzan II,” “Brother Bear,” and “Teacher’s Pet,” among others.
“She was always delighted to meet and greet children of all ages everywhere she went, and to make them laugh. Her job was her passion, and her passion was her work “Eisenstadt said in a statement.
“Law and Order,” “Night Court,” “Living Single,” “ER,” and “Mad About You” were among the many shows on which Harris appeared as a guest star.
Still, Harris saw a sympathetic undertone to her character, often saying Estelle fumed out frustration at her bumbling mate and scheming slacker of a son.
Viewers, she told an interviewer in 1998, “just look at her as being funny, cute and a loudmouth. But it’s not how I play her. I play her with misery underneath.”
She is survived by her three children, three grandsons and a great grandson.