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Seinfeld Star Estelle Harris' Character Name Was A Complete Coincidence

"Seinfeld" is arguably one of the biggest sitcoms of the 1990s. if not one of the biggest of all time. The show consistently drew high ratings throughout its nine-season run, with its finale attracting a staggering audience of over 76 million viewers (per Los Angeles Times). The series primarily focused on Jerry Seinfeld, who played a fictional version of himself, and the various hilarious but mundane shenanigans he would get into with his friends George Costanza (Jason Alexander), Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), and Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards).

The series also introduced several recurring characters throughout its lifespan, including George's mother Estelle, who was portrayed by the legendary character actress Estelle Harris. She appeared on several episodes throughout, often in plotlines centering on George's interaction with his family, and is probably known for her various memorably quotable lines. Fans may notice, however, that, much like Seinfeld himself, Estelle shares the same name as her actress, which could be mistaken as a deliberate choice by the creative forces behind the show. According to Harris herself, however, this naming choice was actually nothing more than a happy coincidence.

Harris says the character was named Estelle before she ever auditioned

During an interview with KISS 92.5 in 2012, Estelle Harris spoke at length about her time on "Seinfeld" and revealed several interesting tidbits. Perhaps one of the most interesting factoids that she talked about, however, came down to her character name sharing the same name as her. The interviewer was curious if this was done so she wouldn't forget her character name, but according to Harris, it was one big coincidence.

"They named her Estelle before they cast her," Harris said. "So when I came to audition and they said, 'What's your name?' I said 'Estelle Harris.' And they all looked at each other, 'Yeah, like my name is Pinocchio.' But they found out that my name was Estelle Harris and that was a coinkydink-y."

This revelation doesn't seem outside the realm of believability. After all, when it came to main cast members, the only one who actually portrayed any version of themself was Jerry Seinfeld himself. Everyone else was given fictional names. So discovering that Estelle's name choice boils down to nothing more than fun little happenstance tracks with Seinfeld really remaining the only character rooted in some kind of connection to the real world, even if it's a fictional version of that reality. Whatever the reasons behind her name, Estelle is definitely one of the more memorable side characters for "Seinfeld," and the late Harris was a big part of why.