Len Lesser, "Seinfeld's" Uncle Leo, Dead at 88

He was an actor for over 50 years, but Len Lesser was known to Seinfeld fans everywhere as "Uncle Leo."

By Paul DeBenedetto
|  Thursday, Feb 17, 2011  |  Updated 7:50 PM EDT
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In Memoriam

AP

Len Lesser, who played Uncle Leo on "Seinfeld," died Feb. 16 at age 88. "Heaven got a great comedian and actor today," his daughter, Michele, said in a statement to the AP. The veteran TV star last appeared on "Castle."

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The world says "goodbye" to Len Lesser, the actor who played Jerry's Uncle Leo on "Seinfeld."

Lesser was a veteran actor of over 50 years, appearing in such films as "The Outlaw Josey Wales" and "Death Hunt." But it was in his role as the scene-stealing Uncle Leo that Lesser gained national notoriety.

Lesser and his signature greeting -- "Jerry! Hello!" -- made audiences laugh in over seven years of guest appearances on the show.

According to a statement released by the late actor's family, Lesser died Wednesday of cancer-related pneumonia.

"Heaven got a great comedian and actor today," the statement said. "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."

Jason Alexander, who played George Costanza on "Seinfeld," remembered Lesser on Twitter.

"I am so happy to have known him and my sympathies go to his family," Alexander tweeted. "But his was a fun life and he leaves many fans behind and many who will be enjoying his work for years to come."

Lesser passed away at the age of 88. He is survived by his daughter, Michele; son, David; daughter-in-law, Julie; and grandchildren, Jonathan, Kayla, and Mayah.

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