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December 21, 2014

Bill Erwin, 'Seinfeld' Character Actor, Dead at 96

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 4th 2011 2:23PM
Bill ErwinBill Erwin, a veteran character actor probably best known for his Emmy-nominated guest role on 'Seinfeld' as old man Sid Fields, has passed away.

Erwin died in Studio City, Calif. on Dec. 29. He was 96.

Before 'Seinfeld,' Erwin had already had a long career on TV, appearong on shows including 'Hallmark Hall of Fame,' 'Studio 57,' 'Highway Patrol,' 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents,' 'I Love Lucy,' 'The Twilight Zone,' 'Sea Hunt,' 'Leave it to Beaver,' 'The Andy Griffith Show,' 'Mister Ed,' 'Maverick,' 'Lassie,' 'Perry Mason,' 'The Fugitive,' 'Get Smart,' 'Gunsmoke,' 'The Waltons,' 'Moonlighting,' 'Star Trek: TNG,' 'Growing Pains,' 'The West Wing,' 'Monk,' 'My Name is Earl' and dozens more.

In other words, Erwin's career is the history of television itself. It's rather interesting to see him in older shows from the '40s and '50s and realize it's the same guy you know as being much older.

Erwin had a movie career as well, appearing in such films as 'Somewhere in Time, 'Home Alone' and 'You're in the Army Now,' his first acting role, in 1941. And as if all this wasn't enough, he was also a cartoonist for publications like 'The New Yorker' and 'Playboy'!

But it's his role as Sid Fields, the old man that Jerry volunteers to spend time with on 'Seinfeld' that most TV viewers will remember. This scene is a classic. "Would you mind changing my diaper? Ha!"

Erwin is the second classic TV star to die this week; just the other day, we saw the passing of Anne Francis.

Erwin is survived by two sons, two daughters, and many grandchildren.

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