Seinfeld Actor Hiram Kasten Passes Away at 71

Seinfeld Actor Hiram Kasten Passes Away at 71

Actor Hiram Kasten, renowned for his roles in popular sitcoms like “Seinfeld,” has passed away at the age of 71. The news of his death was confirmed by his family on Sunday. Kasten died in Batavia, New York, after a prolonged battle with multiple illnesses, including prostate cancer and Crohn’s disease.

Kasten’s family shared that he had been fighting various health issues for the past seven years. In the last six months, he had confided in friends about his terminal condition. Despite his declining health, Kasten’s comedy and artistic community provided immense support, with many visiting him in Batavia and participating in late-night Zoom meetings that extended into the early hours.

Born in the Bronx on October 30, 1952, Hiram Kasten was a fixture in New York City’s comedy scene during the 1980s. He performed at iconic clubs such as The Comic Strip, where he met Jerry Seinfeld, who was the emcee at the time. This meeting sparked a friendship that lasted 45 years. Kasten also performed at other renowned venues like The Improv, The Comedy Cellar, Caroline’s, and Dangerfield’s.

Kasten’s career took him to Los Angeles, where he pursued acting. He appeared in numerous TV shows throughout the 90s and early 2000s, including “7th Heaven,” “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Mad About You,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “L.A. Law,” and “It’s Like, You Know…”. His most notable role was as Michael, a co-worker of Elaine Benes (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus) on “Seinfeld,” appearing in three episodes from 1993 to 1994.

In 2012, Kasten and his wife, Diana Kastenbaum, moved to Batavia to be closer to her aging father. Diana ran for Congress in 2016. Kasten retired from the entertainment industry in 2017 as his health began to decline, but he only revealed the severity of his condition to friends in the last six months.

Kasten’s wife, Diana, shared that his comedy community’s support prolonged his life by at least two months. Friends made trips to Batavia to visit him, and late-night Zoom meetings with friends on both coasts provided him with much-needed laughter and companionship.

Kasten is survived by his wife, Diana, and their daughter, Millicent Jade Kastenbaum. A funeral service will be held at Schwartz Brothers-Jeffer Memorial Chapel in Forest Hills, New York, with a memorial service planned in Los Angeles later this summer. The family has requested that any memorial tributes be made in the form of charitable donations to Crossroads House and the Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund).

Hiram Kasten’s legacy in the comedy world is marked by his dedication to the craft and the lasting friendships he formed throughout his career. His contributions to television and stand-up comedy will be remembered by fans and colleagues alike.

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