Liz Sheridan

Active - 1982 - 2008  |   Born - Apr 10, 1929   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Romance

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Biography by Bruce Eder

Liz Sheridan is an actress mostly associated with comedic roles, and best known for her portrayal of Helen Seinfeld, the mother of Jerry Seinfeld, on the series Seinfeld. Born in Westchester County and raised on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, she graduated from Mamaroneck High School. Sheridan started out in entertainment as a dancer, and was also a pianist and singer. During the early '50s, she crossed personal paths with James Dean; the two became very close, and this period in her life was recounted in Sheridan's book Dizzy and Jimmy: My Life With James Dean (2000). She lived in the Caribbean from 1953 until the mid-'60s, when she returned to New York to embark on an acting career, principally on-stage. Sheridan made a small number of television appearances, on programs such as Kojak, but her real TV career didn't begin until the 1980s, when she started getting guest roles shows such as Gimme a Break, St. Elsewhere, The A-Team, Hill Street Blues, and Scarecrow & Mrs. King, as well as in various made-for-television movies and miniseries, interspersed with the occasional feature film such as Star 80 (1983) and Legal Eagles (1986). She was probably most visible during this period in the role of Selma the housekeeper in the pilot episode of Moonlighting (1985). In 1986, Sheridan became a regular on the series Alf, which ran for four seasons, portraying Mrs. Ochmonek. At the end of that run, she auditioned for and won the role of Helen Seinfeld on Seinfeld. As Jerry Seinfeld's well-meaning but slightly high-strung mother, always trying to mediate between the generations in her family, she revealed a delightful range of comedic skills, working alongside such diverse talents as Jerry Seinfeld, Michael Richards, Barney Martin, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Jason Alexander, et al. In the years since the cancellation of the series, she has continued to work regularly in television and feature films, primarily portraying matronly and grandmother-type roles.

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