The Heartbreaking Death Of Liz Sheridan

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Liz Sheridan, a co-star on "Seinfeld" in the '90s, passed away. TMZ reported that the 93-year-old died in the early hours of the morning April 15. A rep confirmed the news to Deadline

Born April 10, 1929 in New York, show business was in Sheridan's blood (via the Mirror). Both of her parents were performers, and her father Frank Sheridan's piano playing was lauded by The New York Times. Liz got her start in the industry in New York City as a nightclub performer. During that time, she fell in with a group of young and struggling actors who were determined to make it big. One of these up-and-comers was none other than James Dean, whom she said she developed a romantic relationship with.

Sheridan spoke of their romance in the book "Dizzy & Jimmy: My Life with James Dean: A Love Story." Sheridan and Dean met in the 1950s in the parlor of the Rehearsal Club, which was a chaperoned boardinghouse for young actresses. They were soon inseparable. Together they hunted for jobs, haunted all-night bars, and diners, and fell in love. 

After finding minor success on Broadway, Dean was lured to Hollywood with a motion picture contract where he filmed three movies in a row: "East of Eden," "Rebel Without a Cause," and "Giant." He and Sheridan broke off their relationship, and she moved to the Caribbean to nurse her broken heart where she lived and worked until the 1960s. Shortly before a trip to Salinas, California in 1955 where he was to compete in a car race, Dean and Sheridan saw one another for the last time. Dean would die in a car crash during that ill-fated trip.

Broadway baby

In the 1970s, Liz Sheridan began to find work on The Great White Way and was hired for roles in the plays "Frank Merriwell," "Hurry Harry," "Something's Afoot," "Best Friend," "Happy End," "Ballroom," and "Once Catholic" (via Playbill). This period of her life would run straight through that decade until she was lured to Hollywood with the promise of television work.

Sheridan would be lucky enough to earn a steady income on some of the most memorable shows of the glory days of television including "Kojak," "The White Shadow," "Archie Bunker's Place," "Gimme A Break," "St. Elsewhere," "Scarecrow and Mrs. King," "One Day at a Time," "Three's a Crowd," "Newhart," "Alf," "Moonlighting" and "Santa Barbara" to name a few. She would also make appearances in the films "Kate's Secret," "The Legend of Lizzie Borden," "Star 80," "Who's That Girl," "Forget Paris," "Wedding Bell Blues," "The Secret Life of Kathy McCormick," and Danielle Steel's "Changes."

Seinfeld superstar

Liz Sheridan would go on to score a pivotal character in her career in 1991. She was cast as Helen Seinfeld, Jerry's mother, on the NBC sitcom. She was the only constant character, other than the four main leads of Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld), Elaine (Julia Louis-Dryefus), Kramer (Michael Richards) and George (Jason Alexander) to appear in each season of the series (via Cheat Sheet). Helen was Jerry's well-meaning but high-strung mother who always tried to mediate between any issues within her family. In this supporting role, Sheridan showed off a range of comedic skills and more than held her own against the show's core actors.

Following "Seinfeld," Sheridan caused a stir in the film world when she appeared in the motion picture "Play the Game" alongside Andy Griffith (via Roger Ebert). It was there that the main characters of Grandpa Joe and Edna played out a love scene that made many moviegoers uncomfortable due to the male character's use of Viagra and Edna's aptitude for seduction.

Personal life

During Liz Sheridan's years as a resident of the Caribbean, she ventured to Puerto Rico where she met a Jazz musician named William Wales, known as Dale, in 1960. They quickly bonded but did not wed. During their 25th year as a committed couple, the two tied the knot in December of 1985 (via My Heritage). They raised one daughter, a photographer, and lived a happy life until Dale's death on May 24, 2003, of lung cancer. Sheridan said of her relationship with her only child "I'm so unmotherly, I cannot tell you. I'm still a flower child somewhere. My daughter was more, my friend, than my daughter most of her life," (via

In an interview with the actress, she gave her advice for those who are looking to follow their dreams. She said, "If you are looking to find the life that you really want, then you should do it. You should not sit on the porch and just rock and grow old. You should go out there and follow your heart, and I think that's terribly important" (via