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THEN AND NOW: The cast of 'Seinfeld' 32 years later

Nasha Smith   

THEN AND NOW: The cast of 'Seinfeld' 32 years later
Jerry Seinfeld played a fictionalized version of himself on the hit sitcom.Sony Pictures Television; Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
  • Now on Netflix, NBC's "Seinfeld" followed the misadventures of friends living in New York,.
  • Stars Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander have continued acting.
  • Recurring actors like Bryan Cranston and Patrick Warburton found success on hit shows.

Jerry Seinfeld played the titular character.

Jerry Seinfeld played the titular character.
Jerry Seinfeld plays a stand-up comedian, inspired by his own life.      Sony Pictures Television

Seinfeld portrayed a semi-fictionalized version of his life as a stand-up comedian on the sitcom.

Prior to that, he had a short-lived, recurring role as mail-delivery boy Frankie on the ABC sitcom "Benson."

Seinfeld remains a comedy legend.

Seinfeld remains a comedy legend.
Jerry Seinfeld in 2019.      Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Seinfeld returned to New York and his stand-up comedy roots when the show ended in 1998. He chronicled his post-"Seinfeld" tour in the Emmy-nominated 1998 HBO comedy special "I'm Telling You for the Last Time."

His next Hollywood project was the animated film "Bee Movie" (2007), which he wrote, produced, and did lead voice-acting for.

In 2012, he created the web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," which featured Seinfeld and high-profile guests like Dave Chappelle, Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman, and President Barack Obama riding around in vintage cars before stopping to chat over coffee. The series became so popular that it was picked up by streaming giant Netflix.

The streamer also struck a deal with Seinfeld for two stand-up specials and the development of scripted and unscripted comedy programming. "Jerry Before Seinfeld" was released on September 19, 2017, and "23 Hours to Kill" — his first original stand-up special in 22 years — premiered on May 5, 2020.

Michael Richards played Cosmo Kramer.

Michael Richards played Cosmo Kramer.
Michael Richards as the kooky next-door neighbor, Cosmo Kramer.      Carin Baer/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

The stand-up comedian got his big break on Billy Crystal's cable television special.

He was a series regular on ABC's "Fridays" and had roles on NBC's "Cheers."

He also appeared in films like "So I Married an Axe Murderer" (1993), "Problem Child" (1990), and "Coneheads" (1993).

Richards ran into some trouble after "Seinfeld."

Richards ran into some trouble after "Seinfeld."
Actor Michael Richards at the 2014 premiere of "Fed Up."      Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

In 2000, Richards went on to play the lead in the eponymous "The Michael Richards Show" on NBC, which was cancelled shortly after its debut.

He returned to stand-up and famously found himself in hot water during a performance at the Laugh Factory comedy club in late 2006 for hurling racist epithets at a group of audience members. The incident was caught on video and led to a hiatus from stand-up.

Richards appeared on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" from "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David in 2009. The season-seven episode featured a reunion of the core "Seinfeld" cast for the first time since the finale.

Other television stints included the role of Frank on the TV Land sitcom "Kirstie" and a gig on the 2019 romantic comedy "Faith, Hope & Love."

Jason Alexander played Jerry's best friend George Costanza.

Jason Alexander played Jerry
Jason Alexander played the short-tempered George Costanza.      NBC

Before his role as Seinfeld's perpetually scheming best friend, Alexander nabbed notable roles as Phillip Stuckey in the film "Pretty Woman" (1990) and Hugo in the Disney-animated feature "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1996).

He also voiced the lead character in "Duckman" (1994) and won an Emmy for his guest appearance on "Dream On."

Alexander won a Tony and a Grammy for his work on "Jerome Robbins' Broadway" (1989).

Alexander returned to his Broadway roots.

Alexander returned to his Broadway roots.
Jason Alexander at the SiriusXM Hollywood Studio in 2020.      Morgan Lieberman/Getty Images

Alexander didn't find the same level of success after "Seinfeld."

His first project after the show ended was the ABC sitcom "Bob Patterson" which only aired five episodes. He was also on the short-lived CBS sitcom "Listen Up!"

Over the years he continued to make appearances on television with roles on episodes of NBC's "Friends," UPN's "Star Trek: Voyager," Fox's "Malcolm in the Middle," USA Network's "Monk," and CBS's "Criminal Minds."

He returned to Broadway as the artistic director of Los Angeles' Reprise Theatre Company from 2007 to 2013.

Alexander also appeared on live-stage shows including "The Producers" (2003) opposite Martin Short, "A Christmas Carol" (2004) with Kelsey Grammer, Broadway's "Fish in the Dark" (2015), and "The Portuguese Kid" (2017).

His most recent work includes cameos on Amazon Prime Studio's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" as Asher Friedman and as Gene Lundy on CBS's "Young Sheldon."

Alexander currently voices Sy Borgman on Warner Bro's animated television series "Harley Quinn."

Julia Louis-Dreyfus played Jerry's ex-girlfriend Elaine Benes.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus played Jerry
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine, a quick-tempered writer and editor.      Joseph Del Valle/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Prior to winning audiences over for her portrayal of Seinfeld's ex-turned-buddy, Louis-Dreyfus spent three seasons as a cast member on NBC's iconic sketch-comedy series "Saturday Night Live."

Louis-Dreyfus cemented her legacy as an A-list comedian.

Louis-Dreyfus cemented her legacy as an A-list comedian.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the 2019 Emmys.      David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Louis-Dreyfus has convincingly broken what came to be known as the "Seinfeld curse" since the sitcom ended.

She took her talents to her own show, CBS's "The New Adventures of Old Christine," where she won an Emmy.

Louis-Dreyfus followed that up with HBO's "Veep," where she played American Vice President Selina Meyer until the show ended in 2019. That role earned her a record-setting six consecutive Emmys.

She received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor — one of America's highest achievements in comedy — in 2018.

She also voiced characters in the animated films "A Bug's Life" (1998), "Planes" (2013), and "Onward" (2020).

In 2021, Louis-Dreyfus made her first appearance as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Wayne Knight played Seinfeld's archnemesis, Newman.

Wayne Knight played Seinfeld
Wayne Knight as Jerry's scheming neighbor, Newman.      Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Knight is best known as Seinfeld and Kramer's meddling neighbor Newman.

But before this role, Knight had several memorable performances in films like "Dirty Dancing" (1987), "Born on the Fourth of July" (1989), "JFK" (1991), and "Basic Instinct" (1992).

He also worked as a private investigator in New York for five years.

Knight continues to act on television and voices animated characters.

Knight continues to act on television and voices animated characters.
Wayne Knight at the 2021 premiere of "12 Mighty Orphans."      Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images/Sony Pictures Classics

When "Seinfeld" ended its run, Knight continued his role as Officer Don Orville on NBC's "3rd Rock from the Sun" which he took up when the show premiered in 1996.

He also appeared on Broadway in "Art" (1999).

Knight had several more television stints including guest spots on NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," CBS's "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," FX's "Nip/Tuck," Fox's "Bones," ABC's "The Whole Truth," and Netflix's "Narcos."

He starred as a recurring character on TV Land's "Hot in Cleveland" and as part of the main cast on TV Land's "The Exes."

His most extensive work after "Seinfeld" has been voicing characters on animated shows like Fox Kids cartoon "Toonsylvania," Disney's "Buzz Lightyear of Star Command," the Kids' WB! series "Xiaolin Showdown," the Nickelodeon cartoon "Catscratch," and in iconic Disney films "Hercules" (1997), "Toy Story 2" (1999), and "Tarzan" (1999).

Jerry Stiller played Frank Costanza.

Jerry Stiller played Frank Costanza.
Jerry Stiller as Frank, George's father.      NBC

Stiller gained a new following late in his career as George Costanza's long-suffering father and proponent of Festivus, an anti-Christmas celebration.

But his late-career resurgence came after years as one half of the comedy duo Stiller and Meara with his wife of over 60 years, Anne Meara.

Stiller continued to find late-career success until his death in 2020.

Stiller continued to find late-career success until his death in 2020.
Actor Jerry Stiller in 2015.      Bobby Bank/WireImage

After "Seinfeld," Stiller continued to find success as Arthur Spooner on the CBS comedy "The King of Queens."

He also did some voiced characters in the animated films "The Lion King 1½" (2004) and "Planes: Fire and Rescue" (2014).

Stiller also teamed up with his son, Ben Stiller, in multiple films including "Zoolander" (2001), "The Heartbreak Kid" (2007), and "Zoolander 2" (2016).

His memoir "Married to Laughter: A Love Story Featuring Anne Meara" was published by Simon & Schuster in 2000.

In 2020, Ben Stiller confirmed in an emotional tweet that his father died of natural causes at the age of 92.

Estelle Harris played George's shrill-voiced mom Estelle Costanza.

Estelle Harris played George
Estelle Harris as Estelle Costanza, George's overbearing mother.      Barry Slobin/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Harris started her career later in life with the films "Looking Up" and "Summerdog" in 1977 and "Once Upon a Time in America" in 1984.

She also made appearances on NBC's "Night Court" and Fox's "Married... with Children."

Harris continued her career in television and animation.

Harris continued her career in television and animation.
Estelle Harris in 2014.      Tibrina Hobson/FilmMagic

Her list of voice-over credits is extensive.

Harris provided the voice of Mrs. Potato Head in "Toy Story 2" (1999), "Toy Story 3" (2010), and "Toy Story 4" (2019).

She can also be heard as Mama Lipsky in "Kim Possible," Thelma in "The Proud Family," and Death's mother in "Family Guy."

She had a recurring role on Disney Channel's "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" and has made several guest appearances on television since "Seinfeld" wrapped.

Harris is 93 years old.

John O'Hurley played J. Peterman.

John O
John O'Hurley as Elaine's boss, J. Peterman.      Netflix

Before playing the founder of the J. Peterman Company and Elaine's boss, O'Hurley had roles on multiple soap operas.

These roles included CBS then ABC's "The Edge of Night," ABC's "Loving," CBS's "As the World Turns," CBS's "The Young and the Restless," NBC's "Santa Barbara," and ABC's "General Hospital."

O'Hurley appeared on several other shows.

John O'Hurley in 2018.      George Pimentel/Getty Images

Like a few of his other former costars, O'Hurley did voice-over work after the show ended.

He voiced Roger Doofenshmirtz, Heinz Doofenshmirtz's brother, on the Disney Channel's "Phineas and Ferb" from 2008 to 2015.

He also had a recurring role as Dr. Christopher Neff on Lifetime's "Devious Maids" and preceded Steve Harvey as the host of "Family Feud" from 2006 to 2010.

O'Hurley is also a musician who released a multi-album compilation of his original instrumental compositions called "Peace of Our Minds" in 2004.

Viewers might also be familiar with his appearance as a contestant on the first season of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."

He lost to "General Hospital" star Kelly Monaco but was voted the winner by fans in a charity rematch months later.

Bryan Cranston appeared multiple times as Dr. Tim Whatley.

Bryan Cranston appeared multiple times as Dr. Tim Whatley.
Bryan Cranston as dentist Dr. Tim.      Hulu; NBC

Before finding regular acting work in the 1980s, Cranston earned $150 per wedding as an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church.

He eventually found roles on the soap opera "Loving" and the Fox series "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers."

Cranston's career took off after "Seinfeld."

Bryan Cranston at the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021.      Rachel Murray/Getty Images

He landed the leading role of Hal Wilkerson on Fox's comedy "Malcolm in the Middle," earning three Emmy nominations.

Two years after "Malcolm in the Middle" ended, Cranston found even more success as the terminally ill high-school chemistry teacher Walter White on AMC's "Breaking Bad." He won multiple Emmys for it.

Cranston won critical acclaim on Broadway as well, winning Tony Awards for playing American President Lyndon B. Johnson in "All the Way" (2013) and Howard Beale in "Network" (2017).

Patrick Warburton played Elaine's on-again, off-again boyfriend, David Puddy.

Patrick Warburton played Elaine
Patrick Warburton as Elaine's devout boyfriend David.      Netflix

Warburton made appearances on multiple television shows early on in his career including NBC's "Quantum Leap," CBS's "Northern Exposure," CBS's "Murphy Brown," and NBC's "Mad About You."

Warburton is still an actor.

Warburton is still an actor.
Patrick Warburton in 2017.      Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

He continued to work steadily after "Seinfeld."

Warburton made a cameo as Agent T in the film "Men in Black II" (2002). He also starred on the ABC sitcom "Less than Perfect" and CBS's "Rules of Engagement."

More recently, Warburton portrayed Lemony Snicket on Netflix's "A Series of Unfortunate Events."

He has done voice-overs for video games, animated films, and television series including Joe Swanson on Fox's "Family Guy."


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