‘Seinfeld’—Were the Costanzas Italian or Jewish
'Seinfeld' was historically one of the most popular television sitcoms ever aired on network television. The Costanza family was played by actors Jerry Stiller (Frank Costanza), Estelle Harris (Estelle Costanza) and Jason Alexander (George Costanza). For years fans have wanted to know if the Costanzas were Italian or Jewish. What was the family's heritage?
According to a comment by Jerry Stiller to the Museum of the Jewish People at Beir Hatfutsot in December of 2018, Stiller said he really doesn't know.
It was never really clear if the Costanzas were Jewish or Italian or what they were. -Jerry Stiller
Stiller said he was always confused about the family's heritage.
Jason, Estelle and I were given the name Costanza which sounds Italian but there were episodes where I cooked Jewish food and ate knishes and kasha varnishkes in bed. -Jerry Stiller in a video appearance to the Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot
Seinfeld—Frank Cooks Again
When people asked me about this, I would simply say it was because we were a Jewish family in the witness protection program. -Jerry Stiller in a video appearance to the Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot
Jerry Stiller passed away on May 11, 2020, at the age of 92. Estelle Harris was 93 and passed away on April 2, 2022.