Star Trek homeSkip to main content

Now & Then: Estelle Harris

Now & Then: Estelle Harris

What do Star Trek and Seinfeld have in common? Actually, probably quite a few common guest stars, but we're thinking specifically of Estelle Harris, the subject of our first Then & Now feature for, in which we tip our cap at a Star Trek guest star even fans may not remember appeared on a Trek series or in a Trek feature.

Harris was credited as “Old Woman” in the unusually spiritual third-season Voyager episode "Sacred Ground," which aired on October 20, 1996. The old woman was actually a projection of the Nechani Spirits, and Janeway's interactions with the old woman perhaps helped Captain Janeway ease up on her hardocre devotion to scientific reason. Harris, of course, is best known for her long-running recurring stint as Estelle Costanza, the overbearing mother of George Costanza, on Seinfeld, which ran from 1989 to 1998.

Some tidbits about Estelle Harris:

  • Harris, who was born in New York City, will turn 87 years young on April 4. (Editor's note: Harris' age varies depending on the source, but her birthday is April 4).
  • She's still working, having guest starred on The Exes in 2013, providing a voice for the animated kids' show Jake and the Never Land Pirates in 2014, and co-starring in the upcoming indie feature, Promoted.
  • After Seinfeld, it's safe to say that Harris is best known as the voice of Mrs. Potato Head in Toy Story II and III, as well as several Toy Story short films.
  • Harris played a small role in the big-screen comedy Out to Sea, which was released in 1997 and co-starred The Next Generation's Brent Spiner as a control-freak cruise ship director.
  • Harris' Seinfeld son, Jason Alexander, is a huge Star Trek fan and he guest starred in the Voyager episode "Think Tank."