Estelle Harris, who hollered her way into TV history as George Costanza's short-fused mother on "Seinfeld" and voiced Mrs. Potato Head in the "Toy Story" franchise, has died. She was 93.
As middle-class matron Estelle Costanza, Harris put a memorable stamp on her recurring role in the smash 1990s sitcom.
With her high-pitched voice and humorously overbearing attitude, she was an archetype of maternal indignation.
Trading insults and absurdities with her on-screen husband, played by Jerry Stiller, Harris helped create a parental pair that would leave even a psychiatrist helpless to do anything
but hope they'd move to Florida — as their son, played by Jason Alexander, fruitlessly encouraged them to do.
Harris' agent Michael Eisenstadt confirmed the actor's death in Palm Desert, California, on Saturday evening.
Viewers of all backgrounds would tell her she was just like their own mothers, Harris often said.
"She is the mother that everybody loves, even though she's a pain in the neck," she told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1998.
Eventually, she began appearing in guest roles on TV shows including the legal comedy "Night Court," and in films including director Sergio Leone's 1984 gangland epic "Once Upon a Time in America."
"Estelle is a born performer," Stiller told The Record of Bergen County, New Jersey, in 1998. "I just go with what I got, and she goes back at me the same way."
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.