Estelle Harris

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Estelle Harris
Estelle Harris - Ponyo - USA premiere.jpg
Harris at the premiere of Ponyo in June 2009
Estelle Nussbaum

(1928-04-04) April 4, 1928 (age 92)
OccupationActress, comedian
Years active1977–present
Home townWest Hollywood, California, U.S.
Height5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)[1]
Sy Harris
m. 1953)

Estelle Harris (née Nussbaum; born April 4, 1928)[3] is an American actress and comedian, known for her exaggerated shrill, grating voice. She is best known for her roles as Estelle Costanza on Seinfeld, the voice of Mrs. Potato Head in the Toy Story franchise, Muriel in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, and Mama Gunda in Tarzan II.

Early life[edit]

Harris was born Estelle Nussbaum in Manhattan, New York on April 4, 1928, the younger of two daughters of Isaac ("Ira") and Anna Nussbaum, Polish Jewish immigrants who owned a candy store.[4] She moved to Tarentum, PA, when she was 7 to live near her aunt and uncle because they asked her father to work in their candy store. She graduated from Tarentum High School.[5]


Harris pursued acting in earnest after her children grew up and achieved early success in television commercials, even logging 23 spots in a year at one point. One of her most-famous commercials found her energetically singing the praises of Handi-Wrap II.

In 1977, Harris began her career in Looking Up. She later became widely known for her supporting role as Estelle Costanza on Seinfeld. In Star Trek: Voyager, she portrayed the Old Woman who was actually a projection of the Nechani Spirits, in the unusually spiritual third-season Voyager episode "Sacred Ground," which aired on October 20, 1996. She played a small role as Bridget in Out to Sea (1997). In Toy Story 2 (1999), she provided the voice of Mrs. Potato Head and would continue to reprise the role for the franchise. In 2005, she lent her voice to Mama Gunda in Tarzan II. In The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Harris had a recurring role as Muriel. In 2007, she appeared in Brad Paisley's music video for the song "Online."[6] Harris reprised her role of Mrs. Potato Head in Toy Story 3 (2010). She portrayed Bertha Kristal, the mother of CBGB founder Hilly Kristal, in CBGB (2013).

Her other voice work includes Lula in Dave the Barbarian, Mama Lipsky in Kim Possible, Thelma in The Proud Family, Mrs. Turtle in Mickey Mouse Works and House of Mouse, Death's nagging mother in Family Guy, the Old Lady Bear in Brother Bear (2003), and Audrey in Home on the Range (2004). She also provided the voice of Marty's Wife in the American Dad! episode "In Country...Club."[7]

Harris reprised her role of Mrs. Potato Head in Toy Story 4 (2019).

Personal life[edit]

Since 1953, Harris has been married to window treatment salesman Sy Harris.[2] They have two sons and one daughter.[2]

Harris had previously resided in Port Washington, New York. Currently, she resides in West Hollywood, California.


Year Title Role Notes
1984 Once Upon a Time in America Peggy's Mother
1988 Stand and Deliver Secretary
1992 This Is My Life Aunt Harriet
1995 Perfect Alibi Aunt Dorothy
1995 The West Side Waltz
1997 Out to Sea Bridget
1998 Chairman of the Board Ms. Krubavitch
1998 The Odd Couple II Flirting Woman
1998 My Giant Aunt Pearl
1999 Lost & Found Mrs. Stubblefield
1999 Toy Story 2 Mrs. Potato Head Voice
2000 What's Cooking? Aunt Bea
2000 Dancing in September Sally
2000 Playing Mona Lisa Aunt Velva
2001 Good Advice Iris
2003 Brother Bear Old Lady Bear Voice
2004 Home on the Range Audrey Voice
2004 Teacher's Pet Mrs. Boogin Voice
2005 Tarzan II Mama Gunda Voice
2006 Queer Duck: The Movie Mrs. Duckstein Voice
2007 The Grand Ruth Melvin
2010 Toy Story 3 Mrs. Potato Head Voice
2010 Movin' In Arlene Taylor
2011 Hawaiian Vacation Mrs. Potato Head Voice
Short film
2011 Small Fry Mrs. Potato Head Voice
Short film
2012 Partysaurus Rex Mrs. Potato Head Voice
Short film
2013 CBGB Bertha Kristal
2015 Promoted Sylvia Silver
2019 Toy Story 4 Mrs. Potato Head Voice



  1. ^ "A MOTHER FIGURE". October 1, 1995. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Profile,, January 29, 1995; accessed May 7, 2017.
  3. ^ Born in 1928 as per both the 1930 United States census, which lists Isaac Nussbaum (age 30) as "Head", Anna Nussbaum (age 30) as "Wife" and Minnie (age 9) and Estelle (age 2) as "Daughter[s]", New York City. Ward 6th Assembly District; Date: April 6, 1930.
  4. ^ Per 1930 U.S. census data
  5. ^ "A MOTHER FIGURE". October 1, 1995. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  6. ^ "Brad Paisley gets in tune with "Online" video". Country Standard Times. Retrieved 2012-12-09.
  7. ^ Calleros, Albert; Cervantes, Josue (2009-09-27), In Country... Club, Seth MacFarlane, Wendy Schaal, Scott Grimes, retrieved 2018-08-08

External links[edit]