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Liz Sheridan, Jerry’s doting mom on ‘Seinfeld,’ dies at 93

Jerry Seinfeld, left, with Liz Sheridan and Barney Martin, who played his parents on “Seinfeld.” (Joseph Del Valle/Getty Images)

Liz Sheridan, a former Broadway dancer who played a pesky neighbor on the sitcom “ALF” but was best known as Jerry’s doting mother on “Seinfeld,” died April 15 at 93.

Her longtime representative and friend, Amanda Hendon, said Ms. Sheridan died in her sleep but did not provide further details. She died two weeks after “Seinfeld” castmate Estelle Harris, who played the cranky mother of George Costanza, played by Jason Alexander.

The role as Helen Seinfeld followed decades of work by Ms. Sheridan on stage and screen. In the 1970s, she appeared on Broadway in plays and musicals, including “Ballroom” and “Happy End” with Meryl Streep and Christopher Lloyd. She later performed in a one-woman stage show called “Mrs. Seinfeld Sings.”

She also had guest roles on television shows including “Kojak,” “Cagney & Lacey” and “Family Ties,” and played Raquel Ochmonek on “ALF” from 1986 to 1990. She was on “Seinfeld” throughout its 1990 to 1998 run, often appearing alongside Barney Martin, who played her husband, Morty. Like him, she refused to believe that anyone could be less than enamored with her comedian son: “How could anyone not like him?”

Seinfeld called Ms. Sheridan the “sweetest” television mom. “Every time she came on our show it was the coziest feeling for me. So lucky to have known her,” he said Friday on Twitter.

In a 1998 interview with the Associated Press, Ms. Sheridan discussed how fond she had become of the comedian. “I’ll hug him to say goodbye, and I’ll hug him to say hello,” she said. “I told him I love him like he was my son. He said, ‘I know. I love you and Barney like you were my father and mother.’”

Elizabeth Ann Sheridan was born in Rye, N.Y., by most accounts, on April 10, 1929. Some sources say she was born in New York City. Her father was a classical pianist, and her mother a concert singer.

In her memoir “Dizzy & Jimmy,” she recounted a romance in the early 1950s with a then-unknown James Dean. Ms. Sheridan, nicknamed Dizzy, was a young nightclub dancer in New York City when she met Dean. After they split, he became a star with films including “Rebel Without a Cause” before his death in a car crash at age 24.

Ms. Sheridan later appeared in movies including “Legal Eagles,” “Forget Paris,” “Wedding Bell Blues” and “Play the Game,” a 2009 romantic comedy with Andy Griffith. She was married to jazz musician William Dale Wales, who died in 2003. Survivors include a daughter.

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