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September 3, 2015

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

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 16th 2011 10:15PM
Len LesserLen Lesser, best-known to TV fans as Uncle Leo on 'Seinfeld,' has died.

Lesser died from pneumonia in Burbank, CA. He was 88.

He had a very long television career, making his first appearance on a 1949 -- yes, 1949! -- episode of 'Studio One.' During the course of his 60-year career he appeared in such shows as 'Dragnet,' 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents,' 'Gunsmoke,' 'Mike Hammer' (the 50s version), 'Playhouse 90,' 'The Jack Benny Program,' 'The Untouchables,' 'The Outer Limits,' 'The Wild, Wild West,' 'Get Smart,' 'Boy Meets World,' 'ER,' 'Cold Case' and dozens of others.

His most recent role was a 2009 appearance on 'Castle.'

Just this weekend, Retro TV ran an episode of 'Peter Gunn' from 1959 that co-starred Lesser. 'Seinfeld' fans might be surprised to know that Lesser had been working that long, since they know him best from that NBC sitcom (and 'Everybody Loves Raymond').

Lesser is survived by two children and three grandchildren.


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janet powell

The Seinfeld facebook page does a pretty good job at posting some of the classic moments http://www.facebook.com/seinfeld

February 25 2011 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My husband and I watched Seinfeld every day except Sunday from 7:00 to 8:00. Definite fans! We LOVED Uncle Leo. We will always have happy memories of him - we hear his words - as only he could say them and we can't help but laugh and smile.

Since we knew you only as Uncle Leo, we say "Uncle Leo - thanks for the happy memories."

And that is what life is all about - in your own way making a difference in someone else's life.

Roberta and John

February 23 2011 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Check him out in "Birdman of Alcatraz". He's one of the cons when the riot starts toward the end of the film. Nothing like Uncle Leo. The guy had range. By the way, he was working on his autobiography. Does anyone know if it ever got published ?

February 21 2011 at 11:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One of me and my husband's favorite parts of "Everybody Loves Raymond" is all the episodes that he is in playing Garvin and when he see Ray Barone yells "Hey Ray", HA HA HA! We love that laugh. Seems to be a nice guy. It is a part of "Everybody Loves Raymond" that we will remember most.

February 21 2011 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

He was always memorable on "Everybody Loves Raymond," too. He'd yell, "Hey, Ray!" (or something like that) and throw his hands in the air with a crazy laugh.

But he'll always be Uncle Leo to me. What a perfectly hilarious little character he created.

February 18 2011 at 3:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Len Lesser's FIRST words when he reaches the "golden gates" absolutely should be his classic " HELLO ! " from Seinfeld ! And I say that with the utmost respect toward him, his friends, and family ! He got an A+ from me for his entertainment contributions over the years. Rest in peace, my friend.

February 17 2011 at 5:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Uncle Leo always said, "Jerry! Hello!"
Today I say, "Uncle Leo! Good bye!"

February 17 2011 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thats too bad, The world lost a great comedian today. RIP uncle Leo.

February 17 2011 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

He brought a smile to my face every time....... rest in peace uncle Leo.

February 17 2011 at 3:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

what a guy. Would have loved to have him as my uncle. R.I.P. uncle Leo

February 17 2011 at 10:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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