The Memorable Guest Stars of 'Seinfeld': Where Are They Now?

12:17 PM 7/5/2019

by Katherine Schaffstall

Lauren Graham, Kristin Davis, Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, Molly Shannon, Debra Jo Rupp, Courteney Cox, Kathy Griffin, Brenda Strong and Jon Favreau all appeared on the NBC show, which premiered 30 years ago.

Photofest

It's been 30 years since the first episode of Seinfeld aired on NBC on July 5, 1989.

The comedy ran for nine seasons and had a total of 180 episodes before the series finale aired May 14, 1998.

Since the series ended, Jerry Seinfeld has continued his successful stand-up comedy career and created Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has also kept busy since starring as Elaine, recently wrapping up her award-winning turn as Selina Meyer on HBO's Veep. She has won 11 Emmys throughout her career. After winning outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for Seinfeld in 1996, she won outstanding lead actress in a comedy series in 2006 for her titular role on The New Adventures of Old Christine. She won the best comedy actress Emmy five more times for her role on Veep, while she additionally won three Emmys for her work as a producer on the show in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Since playing George Costanza, Jason Alexander has gone on to appear in the films Shallow Hal, Ira & Abby, Wild Card and Larry Gaye: Renegade Male Flight Attendant. His television credits include guest appearances on The New Adventures of Old Christine, Franklin & Bash, Two and a Half Men, The Grinder, Young Sheldon and The Orville. Alexander has also directed episodes of Everybody Hates Chris, Criminal Minds, 'Til Death and Mike & Molly.

The man behind Cosmo Kramer, Michael Richards co-created and starred on NBC's The Michael Richards Show in 2000 and was part of the cast of TV Land series Kirstie, which aired from 2013-2014. He has also appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Beyond its core stars, Seinfeld featured a number of memorable guest stars who went on to make it big in Hollywood. Actors including Lauren Graham, Kristin Davis, Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, Molly Shannon, Debra Jo Rupp, Courteney Cox, Kathy Griffin, Brenda Strong and Jon Favreau all appeared on the NBC show during its nine-year run.

Read on to see what those actors and others who played memorable characters or went on to have greater success in the entertainment industry have been up to since appearing on Seinfeld.

  • Frances Bay (Mabel Choate)

    Bay appeared in three episodes of Seinfeld as Mabel Choate. The character is first introduced during the seventh season when she buys the last marble rye bread, which George needs, from Schnitzer's. Jerry, who's been dispatched to get the rye eventually steals the bread out of Mabel's hands. Bay went on to make guest appearances on The Hughleys, ER, Charmed, My Wife and Kids, Grey's Anatomy and The Middle. Her film credits included roles in Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Planner, Kiss the Bride and Edmond. Bay's last film credit was in Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces. The actress died in 2011 at the age of 92 due to complications from pneumonia.

  • Wilford Brimley (Postmaster General Henry Atkins)

    Brimley appeared on Seinfeld during the show's ninth season as Postmaster General Henry Atkins. During the episode, Henry confronts Kramer after the main character terminates his mail service after he gets fed up with receiving junk that he doesn't want. Since his guest-starring role on the show, Brimley has acted in the films Progeny, A Place to Grow, Summer of the Monkeys, Brigham City, The Road Home, Did You Hear About the Morgans? and Timber the Treasure Dog. The longtime Quaker Oats spokesman has also appeared in the television films Crossfire Trail and The Ballad of Lucy Whipple.

  • Courteney Cox (Meryl)

    Cox appeared as Jerry's girlfriend Meryl in the fifth season. She and Jerry pose as a married couple so that they can receive a family discount on dry-cleaning. The episode aired just a few months before the premiere of Friends, in which Cox starred as Monica Geller for 10 seasons. Best known for the NBC sitcom, Cox also starred on FX's Dirt from 2007 to 2008 and on ABC and TBS' Cougar Town from 2009 to 2015. In addition to her work on camera, Cox has served as an executive producer for Dirt, Cougar Town, Daisy Does America and Celebrity Name Game. She has also directed episodes of Cougar Town, the 2012 Lifetime movie Talhotblond and the 2014 film Just Before I Go. Cox's film credits include the Scream franchise,The Shrink Is In, November, Bedtime Stories and Mothers and Daughters.

  • Marcia Cross (Dr. Sara Sitarides)

    Cross appeared as dermatologist Dr. Sara Sitarides during the ninth season of Seinfeld. Jerry is dismissive of her penchant for talking about saving lives and dubs her "Pimple Popper, MD" before realizing that she helps treat skin cancer. Prior to her appearance on the sitcom, Cross played Kimberly Shaw on Melrose Place. The actress later played Dr. Linda Abbott on Everwood before she was cast as Bree Van de Kamp on Desperate Housewives. Cross won a SAG Award in 2005 and 2006 alongside the cast of the ABC show in the outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series category. She later played the recurring role of Claire Haas on the ABC drama Quantico from 2015-2018. Throughout her career, she has made guest appearances on Boy Meets World, Spin City, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and The King of Queens. On the film side, Cross has had supporting roles in the films Just Peck and Bringing Up Bobby.

  • Kristin Davis (Jenna)

    Davis appeared in the eighth season as Jenna, Jerry's girlfriend who unknowingly brushes her teeth with a toothbrush that Jerry dropped in the toilet. Following her guest appearance on Seinfeld, Davis went on to star on HBO's Sex and the City as Charlotte. The show ran from 1998-2004, and she later reprised the role in the 2008 and 2010 movies. Davis also made guest appearances on the shows Friends and Will & Grace. Her film credits include The Shaggy Dog, Deck the Halls, Couples Retreat, Jack and Jill, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and Christmas in the Wild. Davis has also acted in live productions of The Best Man in 2012 and Fatal Attraction in 2014.

  • Jon Favreau (Eric the Clown)

    The actor and director appeared in the fifth season of the series as Eric the Clown, whom George meets when Eric is hired to work at his girlfriend's son's birthday party, but George gives him a hard time for not being familiar with Bozo the Clown. Favreau's role on Seinfeld was his first television acting credit. He went on to make guest appearances on Friends, The Sopranos, The King of Queens, My Name Is Earl and Monk. Favreau has directed episodes of The Office, About a Boy, The Orville and Young Sheldon, while he created and executive produced The Mandalorian and The Chef Show. He made his directing, producing and writing film debut with 2001's Made. Favreau later directed Elf, Zathura: A Space Adventure, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Cowboys & Aliens, Chef, The Jungle Book and The Lion King. Additionally, he has executive produced The Big Empty, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. He has also acted in a number of films he has directed and produced, including The Big Empty, Made, Elf, Iron Man, Chef and The Jungle Book. His other acting credits include roles in Rocky Marciano, Something's Gotta Give, The Break-Up, Four Christmases, Spiderman: Homecoming and Spiderman: Far From Home.

  • Lauren Graham (Valerie)

    Graham made an appearance in the eighth season of Seinfeld as Valerie, Jerry's girlfriend who uses her phone's speed-dial buttons as a "relationship barometer." Valerie also has a domineering stepmom who becomes jealous of Jerry climbing the speed-dial ranks. Graham is best known for her role as Lorelai Gilmore on The WB-turned-CW's Gilmore Girls, which aired from 2000-2007. She later reprised the role in the 2016 Netflix reboot Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. The actress also portrayed Sarah Braverman on NBC's Parenthood from 2010-2015. On the film side, Graham as acted in Bad Santa, Seeing Other People, The Pacifier, Because I Said So, Evan Almighty, Flash of Genius, It's Kind of a Funny Story, Max and Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. In addition to her acting work, Graham published her debut novel Someday, Someday, Maybe in 2013 and a collection of personal essays titled Talking As Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between) in 2016.

  • Philip Baker Hall (Lt. Joe Bookman)

    Hall played library cop Lt. Joe Bookman during the third season of the series. The character returned in the series finale to reveal his first name. Since portraying Joe, Hall has appeared in the films The Truman Show, Rush Hour, Let the Devil Wear Black, The Sum of All Fears, In Good Company, The Amityville Horror, Zodiac, You Kill Me, Fired Up, People Like Us, Playing It Cool, Person to Person and The Last Word. Hall earned Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for his roles in Boogie Nights (1997) and Magnolia (1999). On the TV side, Hall has made guest appearances on Cheers, Chicago Hope, The Practice, The Fugitive, Everwood, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Big Love, Modern Family, BoJack Horseman, Madam Secretary, Second Chance and Room 104.

  • Janeane Garofalo (Jeannie)

    Garofalo appeared in the seventh and eighth seasons of Seinfeld as Jeannie, Jerry's girlfriend turned short-term fiancee after he discovers she's just like him. Since her appearance on the sitcom, Garofalo has starred in the films Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Wet Hot American Summer, Manhood, Wonderland, Bad Parents, A Little Game, Free the Nipple, Speech & Debate, Submission and Mercy Black. Garofalo has also made guest appearances on the shows Strangers With Candy, The King of Queens, Two and a Half Men, Inside Amy Schumer and Broad City, as well as had recurring roles on The West Wing and Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce. She was the voice of Sally on Felicity and reprised her Wet Hot American Summer role of Beth in the 2015 series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp and the 2017 series Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. She currently stars on the Adult Swim series The Shivering Truth.

  • Brian George (Babu Bhatt)

    George appeared on the sitcom as Babu Bhatt, a restaurant owner who takes business advice from Jerry. When the main character's advice doesn't work, Babu holds a grudge against him. In another episode, Jerry is responsible for Babu's arrest when he was accidentally sent his immigration visa renewal papers. George reprised the role one final time in the series finale. Since his role as Babu, George has made guest appearances on the shows The Nanny, Melrose Place, The X-Files, Two and a Half Men, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Elementary, The Orville, New Girl and The Resident. He recently starred as Sonny Kamala on the short-lived NBC comedy I Feel Bad. George's film credits include roles in Inspector Gadget, Keeping the Faith, Ghost World and Employee of the Month. The actor has also had voice roles on the shows Justice League, Kim Possible, Phineas and Ferb and SpongeBob SquarePants.

  • Kathy Griffin (Sally Weaver)

    NBC/Photofest; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

    Griffin guest-starred as Sally Weaver in the seventh and ninth seasons of the sitcom. The character is Susan's (Heidi Swedberg) old roommate, who gives Jerry a package to deliver to Susan and George before their wedding. She later returns when she finds success performing a stand-up routine mocking Jerry. The comedian went on to star as Vicki Groener on the NBC series Suddenly Susan from 1996-2000. Griffin has made guest appearances on many shows, including The Drew Carey Show, Ugly Betty, Privileged, Glee and Whitney. She starred on the Bravo reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List from 2005-2010 and won two Primetime Emmy Awards for the show. Griffin has also had many stand-up comedy specials for HBO and Bravo. On the film side, the actress has appeared in the movies Dirty Love, Love Wrecked and Hall Pass.

  • Teri Hatcher (Sidra Holland)

    Hatcher guest-starred as Sidra Holland in the fourth season. Jerry dumps Sidra after Elaine convinces him that her breasts are implants, though Elaine later changes her mind when she accidentally grabs her breasts in an attempt to break her fall in a sauna. After Sidra discovers Jerry and Elaine know each other, she breaks up with him and utters the infamous "real and spectacular" line about her assets on her way out the door. Following her guest appearance on Seinfeld, Hatcher starred on ABC's Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and, later, Desperate Housewives. She won a Golden Globe and three Screen Actors Guild Awards for her role on Desperate Housewives, with two of her SAG awards recognizing her work as part of the show's ensemble. The actress has also had recurring roles on Jane by Design, The Odd Couple and Supergirl. Hatcher's film credits include roles in Tomorrow Never Dies, Fever, Spy Kids, Resurrecting the Champ and Coraline.

  • Jane Leeves (Marla)

    NBC/Photofest; Paras Griffin/Getty Images

    Leeves appeared on Seinfeld during the fourth season as Marla, Jerry's girlfriend who is a virgin. After she breaks up with Jerry, it's suggested that she loses her virginity to John F. Kennedy Jr. Leeves is best known for her role as Daphne Moon on Frasier, which ran from 1993-2004. The actress also starred on TV Land's Hot in Cleveland as Joy Scroggs from 2010-2015. Leeves currently stars as Kitt Voss on Fox's The Resident. Her film credits include Don't Go Breaking My Heart, Music of the Heart, The Event and Endless Bummer.

  • Marlee Matlin (Laura)

    NBC/Photofest; Araya Diaz/Getty Images

    Matlin appeared on Seinfeld during the fifth season. Jerry becomes smitten with the deaf lineswoman and George recruits her to come to a party with him to lip-read in hopes that she can learn why his ex-girlfriend dumped him. Since appearing on Seinfeld, Matlin has had recurring roles on Picket Fences, The West Wing, Switched at Birth and The Magicians. Matlin starred as Jodi Lerner on The L Word from 2007-2009 and as Jocelyn Turner on Quantico in 2018. Her film credits include roles in In Her Defense, Askari, Excision, No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie, No One I Love, How to Make Love Like an Englishman and Silent Knights, which she also executive produced. Additionally, Matlin competed on Dancing With the Stars in 2008 and on The Celebrity Apprentice from 2011-2012.

  • Debra Messing (Beth)

    Messing appeared in the seventh and eighth seasons of Seinfeld as Jerry's love interest Beth. In her first appearance, she breaks it off with her fiance when George tells her that she can do better. Following her brief role on Seinfeld, Messing was cast as Grace on NBC's Will & Grace. The sitcom ran from 1998-2006 and was revived in 2017. Messing also starred on Smash from 2012-2013 and as the titular role on The Mysteries of Laura from 2014-2016. On the film side, Messing has starred in the movies The Wedding Date, Lucky You, The Women and Searching. She's also set to appear in Jon Stewart's upcoming political satire film, Irresistible.

  • Scott Patterson (Billy)

    Patterson portrayed Elaine's boyfriend Billy during the seventh season of Seinfeld. During the episode, Elaine tests whether or not Billy is worthy of using her limited supply of contraceptive sponges. Since his "sponge-worthiness" was tested, Patterson has guest-starred on Fired Up, Will & Grace, 90210 and CSI: Miami. The actor is best known for his role as Luke Danes on Gilmore Girls, which ran on The WB and The CW from 2000-2007 and was revived by Netflix for the four-episode Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life in 2016. Following Gilmore Girls, Patterson starred on the short-lived CW series Aliens in America and the NBC science fiction series The Event. Before he worked professionally as an actor, Patterson was a minor league baseball pitcher from 1980-1986.

  • Jarrad Paul (Darin)

    Paul guest-starred as Darin, a college student Kramer hires to work as an intern to help him with "Kramerica Industries," the corporation he previously set up to develop some of his quirky ideas. Since his role on Seinfeld, Paul has become known for his work behind the camera, co-writing the films Yes Man and The D Train, which he also directed with Andrew Mogel, with whom he created the 2015 Fox series The Grinder. In front of the camera, Paul starred on the Fox series Action as Adam Rafkin from 1999-2000 and on the NBC series UC: Undercover as Cody from 2001-2002. He has also made guest appearances on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Monk, Allen Gregory and The Grinder. Paul has appeared in the films Kicking & Screaming, Bewitched, The Shaggy Dog, Movie 43 and The D Train.

  • Debra Jo Rupp (Katie)

    Rupp guest-starred as Katie, Jerry's manager, during the sixth and eight seasons of Seinfeld. After playing Katie, Rupp went on to portray the recurring role of Alice Knight Buffay on Friends before she was cast as Kitty Forman on That '70s Show, which aired on Fox from 1998-2006. Rupp has also had recurring roles on Teacher's Pet, The Ranch and This Is Us. Additionally, the actress starred on the short-lived ABC sitcom Better With You in 2010. On the film side, Rupp has appeared in the movies Senseless, Lucky 13, She's Out of My League and She Wants Me.

  • Molly Shannon (Sam)

    Shannon portrayed Sam in the eighth season of Seinfeld. Elaine mocks Sam, her co-worker, throughout the episode for not moving her arms while she walks. When Sam catches Elaine mocking her, she trashes Elaine's office and leaves her threatening voicemails. Shannon's guest appearance on Seinfeld was in the middle of her run as a castmember on Saturday Night Live. After she left SNL in 2001, Shannon went on to make guest appearances on Will & Grace, Sex and the City, 30 Rock, The New Adventures of the Old Christine, Glee, The Middle, Web Therapy, Enlightened, Life in Pieces and The Other Two. She starred as Lesley Shackleton on Cracking Up from 2004-2006, as Kath on Kath & Kim from 2008-2009 and as Gail Dana Starfield on Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. Shannon currently stars as Diane on HBO's Divorce. Shannon's film credits include roles in Never Been Kissed, Superstar, Serendipity, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Evan Almighty, Life After Beth, Other People, Fun Mom Dinner, Half Magic, Wild Nights with Emily and The Hotel Transylvania franchise. The actress is set to appear in the films Sextuplets, Promising Young Woman and the Jay and Silent Bob reboot.

  • Rena Sofer (Mary Anne)

    Sofer appeared on Seinfeld during the eighth season as Mary Anne, George's love interest who works for the New York Visitors Center. When Mary Anne mistakes George for a tourist, he plays along and pretends that he's visiting from Little Rock, Ark. Following her role on the sitcom, Sofer appeared as Eve Clearly on Melrose Place from 1998-1999, as Grace Hall on The Chronicle from 2001-2002, as Vicki Costa on Just Shoot Me! from 2002-2003 and as Christie Dunbar on Blind Justice in 2005. She currently stars as Quinn Fuller on The Bold and the Beautiful. The actress has also made guest appearances on Friends, Heroes, 24, Two and a Half Men, Monk, Criminal Minds, Covert Affairs, Once Upon a Time and Chicago PD. Sofer's film credits include roles in Keeping the Faith and Traffic.

  • Brenda Strong (Sue Ellen Mischke)

    Strong played Elaine's nemesis and Oh Henry! candy bar heiress Sue Ellen Mischke, known for not wearing a bra, on Seinfeld. Strong later made guest appearances on 7th Heaven, Ally McBeal, Gilmore Girls, Dawson's Creek, Malcolm in the Middle, Everwood and Nip/Tuck before she started playing Mary Alice Young on Desperate Housewives. She served as the narrator for the ABC series from 2004-2012. Strong later starred as Ann Ewing on TNT's Dallas from 2012-2014. The actress narrated the Investigation Discovery documentary series Blood Relatives from 2012-2017 and currently stars as Nora Walker on the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. On the film side, Strong has acted in projects including The Deep End of the Ocean, Exposed, The Work and the Glory, The Kid & I, Ocean of Pearls, Teacher of the Year and The Leisure Class.

  • Larry Thomas (The Soup Nazi)

    Thomas memorably made a guest appearance as the Soup Nazi in the seventh season of the sitcom, as well as in the series finale. The character was inspired by Ali "Al" Yeganeh, a Persian soup vendor based in New York City. Thomas was nominated for an Emmy in 1996 for the role. Since playing the Soup Nazi, Thomas has made guest appearances on the shows Sabrina, the Teenage Witch; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; Drake & Josh; and Arrested Development. His film credits include roles in Austin Powers, Postal, Paranormal Calamity, Not Another B Movie, Doctor Spine, Red Team Go and Twilight: The Story of Hope. Thomas will next appear in the television series Dads! and the films The Executive and Movie of the Dead.

  • Judge Reinhold (Aaron)

    Reinhold guest-starred during the fifth season of Seinfeld as Aaron, Elaine's boyfriend who tends to get too close for comfort when talking to others. He earned an Emmy nomination for the guest-starring appearance in 1994. Since his role on the sitcom, Reinhold has made guest appearances on Ellen, Easy Money and The Detour. He also had starring roles on the short-lived shows Secret Service Guy and The O'Keefes. The actor's film credits include roles in The Beverly Hills Cop and The Santa Clause trilogies, Family Plan, The Hollow, Checking Out, Swing Vote and Bad Grandmas.