Susie Essman

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Susie Essman
Susie Essman at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg
Essman at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Whatever Works.
Birth nameSusan Essman
Born (1955-05-31) May 31, 1955 (age 67)
The Bronx, New York City, U.S.
MediumFilm, television, stand-up
EducationState University of New York, Purchase (BFA)
Years active1988–present
Jim Harder
(m. 2008)
Notable works and rolesCurb Your Enthusiasm

Susan Essman (born May 31, 1955) is an American stand-up comedian, actress, writer and television producer, best known for her role as Susie Greene on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Bobbi Wexler on Broad City, and the voice of Mittens in Bolt.

Early life[edit]

Essman was born on May 31, 1955[1] in The Bronx, New York City, and was raised in the suburb of Mount Vernon. Her father, Leonard Essman, was an internist and clinical oncologist. Her mother, Zora (née Pressman), taught Russian at Sarah Lawrence College. She is the great granddaughter of silent film actor and Russian opera impresario Leo Feodoroff.[2] Essman is Jewish; her grandparents emigrated from Russia and Poland.[3][4] She received her bachelor's degree from SUNY Purchase College.[citation needed]



Essman has been traveling and appearing at clubs throughout the country for more than three decades. In 1988, she appeared on HBO with Joy Behar and other rising female comedians on On Location: Women of the Night II. On January 5, 1989, she was a guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Her first half-hour special premiered on September 20, 1992 on HBO’s One Night Stand.[citation needed] As much of her comedy draws from her ethnic background, she has been featured in such documentaries as, Heroes of Jewish Comedy and A History of Jewish Comedy.

Essman made her U.K. standup comedy debut at the Corn Exchange at the Newbury Comedy Festival in July 2007. While in England, she appeared on the British television show 8 Out of 10 Cats.

Essman began her acting career with small parts in two 1988 films – Crocodile Dundee II and Punchline – but is best known for her role as Susie Greene, the wife of Jeff Greene (portrayed by Jeff Garlin), on the HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm. Essman told The New York Times that, by the show's third season, she could not "walk down the street anymore without people stopping her and begging her to say [her character's catchphrase] 'You fat fuck'".[2] In 2007, Slate named Essman's character one of the best on television, and a reason the publication looked forward to the return of the show.[5]

She also provided the voice of Helen Higgins on the Comedy Central series Crank Yankers; she was an occasional correspondent on the first season of the network's The Daily Show. She appeared on Comedy Central's Roast of Bob Saget on August 17, 2008 and provided the voice of "Mittens" (the cat) in the 2008 Disney animated film, Bolt, and later reprised the role in the 2009 short Super Rhino, released on the film's home media. She also made an appearance on the Regis Philbin version of Million Dollar Password.[citation needed]


Essman's book, What Would Susie Say: Bullshit Wisdom About Love, Life and Comedy, was published in October 2009 by Simon & Schuster.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Essman was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2002[2] and used to be[7] a pescatarian—"Not a moral thing," she explains, but "aesthetic"; chicken "grosses me out"—and "lives on sushi".[2] She married Jim Harder, a commercial real estate broker, in September 2008.[8] She owns a Shih Tzu named Popeye.[9]

Essman is a good friend of Joy Behar, and has appeared on The View multiple times. In 2009, Behar hosted an event at the 92Y with Essman as a guest.[10]



Year Title Role Notes
1988 Crocodile Dundee II Subway Tour Guide
1991 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze Soho Woman
1997 Volcano Anita
1997 What's Your Sign? Carla
2000 Keeping the Faith Ellen Friedman
2005 The Man Lt. Rita Carbone
2008 Bolt Mittens (voice)
2010 Cop Out Laura
2012 Putzel Gilda
2017 Band Aid Shirley
2017 Gilbert Herself Documentary


Year Title Role Notes
1988–1989 Baby Boom Charlotte Elkman 13 episodes
1991–1992 True Colors Mrs. Wampler 2 episodes
1993 Women Aloud Panelist Episode: Waist Management
1994 Hardcore TV Sports Lady 2 episodes
1995 Ned and Stacey Aunt Ceil "Thanksgiving Day Massacre"
1998 Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist Self (voice) Episode: Waltz
2000–present Curb Your Enthusiasm Susie Greene Main role; 65 episodes
2002 The King of Queens Marcia Episode: No Orleans
2002 Law and Order: Criminal Intent Ron Sherwood's Secretary Episode: Badge
1997–2002 Law & Order Performer 2 episodes
2002–2003 Crank Yankers Helen Higgins (voice) 4 episodes
2003 Kim Possible Sadie (voice) "Car Trouble"
2006 Dora the Explorer Queen Bee (voice) Episode: Dora's First Trip
2009 Loving Leah Malka Television film
2009–present American Dad! Mrs. Lonstein (voice) Recurring role
2012 Adventure Time Barb (voice) Episode: Web Weirdos
2013 Blue Bloods Judge Clarice Karl Episode: Front Page News
2015 Weird Loners Evelyn Goldfarb 2 episodes
2015–2019 Broad City Bobbi Wexler 8 episodes
2015–2018 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Arlene Heller 4 episodes
2016–2019 Those Who Can't Leslie Brohn 10 episodes
2017 The Goldbergs Edie Robb Episode: So Swayze It's Crazy
2018 Beat Bobby Flay Self (guest) Episode: Skirting By
2019 Bless This Mess Donna 7 episodes
2020 Harley Quinn Sharon Quinzel, Grandma Quinzel (voice) Episode: "Bensonhurst"
2022 Hacks Elaine Carter 2 episodes
2022 Bob's Burgers Lorraine (voice) Episode: "Sauce Side Story"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Project Result Ref.
2006 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated [citation needed]
2010 Nominated
2015 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series Broad City Nominated
2018 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated


  1. ^ "May 31: On This Day in History". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 31, 2022. Retrieved January 5, 2023. Notable people born on this day include ... "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star Susie Essman, who was born in 1955
  2. ^ a b c d New York Times, March 5, 2003: "Eating Hollywood Style, With Thin Air on the Side".
  3. ^ Westbrook, Caroline (October 7, 2007). "Susie Essman bio interview". Archived from the original on January 5, 2011. Retrieved June 23, 2010. Both my parents are Jewish...
  4. ^ CINDY SHER on October 04, 2012 (October 4, 2012). "JUF News | Veteran comics Susie Essman and Richard Lewis to bring the laughs to JUF's Vanguard Nov. 5". Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  5. ^ Slate, Lapidos, Juliet. November 23, 2003: "Oh, How We've Missed You! The Best Characters on Television"
  6. ^ Wadler, Joyce (October 7, 2009). "At Home With Susie Essman". The New York Times. Retrieved October 31, 2009.
  7. ^ "Ep 58: Susie Essman".
  8. ^ SEPT. 13, 2008 (September 13, 2008). "Essman, Harder Marry". The New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  9. ^ Famous Shih Tzu Dogs – Celebrities Who Own a Shih Tzu
  10. ^ "Susie Essman with Joy Behar: What Would Susie Say?". October 25, 2009. Retrieved July 19, 2021.

External links[edit]