Thursday, February 17, 2011

RIP: Len Lesser

From AP:
Len Lesser, the veteran character actor best known for his scene-stealing role as Uncle Leo on "Seinfeld," died Wednesday. He was 88. Lesser's family said in a statement that he died in Burbank, Calif., from cancer-related pneumonia. "Heaven got a great comedian and actor today," his daughter, Michele, said in the statement. "The outpouring of sympathy we've already received has been amazing and is so greatly appreciated. Thank you to all the people who helped make my father's last journey special and surrounded with love." Lesser's lengthy list of television credits included parts on "Get Smart," "That Girl," "The Munsters," "The Monkees," "The Rockford Files," "thirtysomething," "ER," and "Everybody Loves Raymond," which featured Lesser in a recurring role as the arm-shaking Garvin. His film credits included "Outlaw Josey Wales," "Kelly's Heroes," "Birdman of Alcatraz" and "Death Hunt." He most recently appeared on the TV drama "Castle." He is survived by his daughter, Michele; son, David; daughter-in-law, Julie; and grandchildren, Jonathan, Kayla, and Mayah.

Here are some great scenes.

From the NY Daily News:

"I'll never forget when Uncle Leo was in prison and tattooed 'Jerry Hello' on his knuckles," (Jerry) Seinfeld said in the statement, adding that Lesser was "a very sweet guy" and that the cast "always loved having him on the show."

The sentiment was repeated by "Seinfeld" cast member Jason Alexander, who took to Twitter to pay tribute to the native New Yorker.

"Len was a tremendous guy," he tweeted. "He was a smart actor/comedian who knew exactly what he was doing in the creation of Uncle Leo."

Alexander praised Lesser for his "humble" behavior on set and issued condolences to his family.

"Hellooo Uncle Leo," he signed off. "And goodbye. Sleep well. Much love."


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