Liz Sheridan, best known for playing Jerry’s mom Helen on Seinfeld, has passed away in her home in New York City. She was 93.
Though she didn’t become a household fixture until middle age, Sheridan led a colorful life. Born in New York City in 1929 to a concert pianist father and a singer mother, she naturally gravitated towards show business. She started out as a dancer and spent much of her early career working in the Caribbean. In the early ‘50s, she met and for a time dated an up-and-coming actor named James Dean. They split before his career took off. Sheridan wrote about their relationship in her memoir, Dizzy & Jimmy: My Life With James Dean, a Love Story.
Sheridan worked on Broadway. Her credits include working with Meryl Streep and Christopher Lloyd in the 1977 production of the Bertolt Brecht-Kurt Weill musical Happy End. That year she also made her first screen appearance, in an episode of Kojak. She became a TV and movie fixture, appearing on shows like St. Elsewhere, The A-Team, Moonlighting, Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, Remington Steele, and many more. She had a recurring role on ALF as the family’s nosy neighbor Raquel.
But it was Seinfeld that turned her into a big name. Alongside Barney Martin, as Helen’s husband Morty, she appeared in 24 episodes, playing Jerry’s parents, always meddling in their son’s affairs, whether while visiting or at home in their Florida retirement community.
The news of Sheridan’s passing comes less than two weeks after the death of another Seinfeld parent: Estelle Harris, who played George’s easily agitated mother Estelle Costanza.
Jerry Seinfeld made sure to honor his TV mom after her passing.
Liz was always the sweetest, nicest TV mom a son could wish for. Every time she came on our show it was the coziest feeling for me. So lucky to have known her. pic.twitter.com/ae9TDHQILU
— Jerry Seinfeld (@JerrySeinfeld) April 15, 2022
“Liz was always the sweetest, nicest TV mom a son could wish for,” Seinfeld wrote. “Every time she came on our show it was the coziest feeling for me. So lucky to have known her.”
Other Seinfeld vets did the same.
Oh my Lord, just learning of the passing of Liz Sheridan. She was as gracious and graceful a person and actress as you’ll ever meet. Fascinating life. Wonderful lady. Rest well. #RIPLizSheridan
— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) April 16, 2022
— Judge Reinhold (@JudgeReinhold) April 16, 2022
As did many others, some of whom honored her other work, such as ALF.
— Mark Hamill (@MarkHamill) April 16, 2022
I loved her on Seinfeld, but she’ll always be Mrs. Ochmonek to me. pic.twitter.com/kf0eOYniIO
— Cassandra Bonhoeffer (@kmf78) April 16, 2022
Rest In Peace, Liz Sheridan. Only less than two weeks after Estelle Harris’s passing, the last Seinfeld parent has sadly passed away. Rest In Peace Helen Seinfeld, here’s one of that character’s funniest moments from the episode, The Wallet.#LizSheridan #RIPLizSheridan #Seinfeld pic.twitter.com/pIcaqunVq2
— Dylan Slemp (@elongatedbean) April 15, 2022
Some couldn’t believe another Seinfeld parent left this mortal coil so soon after Estelle Harris.
We’ve lost two Seinfeld moms in the span of two weeks rest in peace Liz Sheridan. Speechless. pic.twitter.com/cuq3fnCoZN
— Sein Peaks (@Seinpeaks) April 15, 2022
Mrs Costanza and Mrs Seinfeld within a week. RIP pic.twitter.com/HsNMnAKQ9G
— Eric Cohen (@ebcinpa) April 15, 2022
And some noted that all four of Jerry and George’s parents have now passed. (Barney Martin died in 2005 and Jerry Stiller passed in 2020. Lawrence Tierney, who played Elaine’s terrifying father, died in 2002.)
— Fred Pups (@FredPups) April 16, 2022
All the parents are gone , may they R.I.P , we will never forget them pic.twitter.com/MJLVouMyZy
— Jacqueline Zavala (@sweetnfreee43) April 16, 2022
You can watch Sheridan’s legendary Seinfeld work on Netflix. In the meantime, enjoy the time Helen and Morty Seinfeld coaxed their son into finally seeing Schindler’s List, with disastrous results.
(Via The New York Times)