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Earl Schuman, who got his first acting credit at age 81 when he portrayed the father of Lloyd Bridges’ character on an episode of Seinfeld, has died. He was 100.
Schuman died Thursday at an assisted living facility in Santa Clarita, Calif., his son, Micky, said.
In the Seinfeld episode “The English Patient,” which first aired on NBC in March 1997, Schuman plays Izzy Mandelbaum Sr., whose son is an ultra-competitive 80-year-old (Bridges) who throws out his back after challenging Jerry to a weightlifting competition.
It turns out Izzy Sr. also hates to lose; he winds up in a hospital bed next to his son and grandson after he tries to lift a heavy TV set that his grandson couldn’t.
Schuman also played “Uncle Alfred Carey” on The Drew Carey Show, was “Great-Grandpa Saul” on Just Shoot Me! and appeared as an “Elderly S&M Enthusiast” in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004).
He also was in Beautiful (2000), Taxi (2004) and Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and most recently had a role on a 2011 episode of Raising Hope.
A native of Oklahoma, Schuman’s acting career began at age 77 when, while waiting for his wife at an audition, someone suggested that maybe he should read for a job, and he got it. He wound up appearing in commercials for Coca-Cola, Doritos, Mercedes-Benz and Maxwell House.
Survivors include his other children Richard, Deborah and Henri and grandchildren Greta, Esther, Rachel, Shara, Eric, Andrew and Ari.
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