THE actor who played Uncle Leo in the television sitcom Seinfeld died yesterday aged 88. Len Lesser passed away from cancer-related pneumonia at an aged care facility in Burbank, California, his family said in a statement.
"Heaven got a great comedian and actor today," his daughter Michele said in the statement.
"The outpouring of sympathy we've already received has been amazing and is so greatly appreciated. Thank you to all the people who helped make my father's last journey special and surrounded with love," the statement added.
Lesser made the eccentric Uncle Leo character a stalwart of the Seinfeld series, stealing scenes with his trademark "Jerry, hello!" greeting.
He appeared in 15 episodes of the hit sitcom between 1991 and 1998, including part two of the show's finale, according to IMDB.
Lesser also appeared in nine episodes of the comedy "Everybody Loves Raymond" as a friend of Raymond's father Frank.
Born in New York in 1922, he began his acting career in the 1950s, chalking up hundreds of performances on television and the stage.
Lesser is survived by his daughter Michele, his son David, his wife Julie, and his grandchildren, Jonathan, Kayla and Mayah.