Remembering Liz Sheridan, the Seinfeld Actress and Westchester Local

Liz Sheridan (left) opposite Jerry Seinfeld in an episode of NBC’s Seinfeld. Photo by Joey Delvalle/ NBCU Photo bank/ NBCUniversal via Getty Images.

Rye native Liz Sheridan became one of the most recognizable women in comedy thanks to a show “about nothing.”

Westchester local Liz Sheridan lived a life suffused with smiles. The comedy legend died in Manhattan on April 15, 2022, just five days after her 93rd birthday. Sheridan was best known for her role as the title character’s TV mother, Helen, on the hit NBC sitcom Seinfeld. Famous for her character’s blind adoration of Jerry, Sheridan was the only performer outside of the four main cast members to appear in every season.

Before becoming a full-time actress, Sheridan appeared frequently on Broadway as well as in cabarets as a professional dancer. She moved to California in the late ’70s and earned small parts on film and TV before getting her big break on the alien-centric sitcom ALF. Sheridan played the Tanners’ intrusive neighbor, Mrs. Ochmonek, from 1986 until 1990.

Liz Sheridan (left) opposite Jerry Seinfeld in an episode of NBC’s Seinfeld.
Liz Sheridan (left) opposite Jerry Seinfeld in an episode of NBC’s Seinfeld. Photo by Joey Delvalle/ NBCU Photo bank/ NBCUniversal via Getty Images.

Elizabeth Ann Sheridan was born in Rye on April 10, 1929 to a prominent New York musical family. Her father, Frank, was a concert pianist who taught at both Columbia and Princeton. Her mother, Elizabeth Poole-Jones, sang professionally on New York’s most prominent stages. Liz lived with her mother after her parents divorced. They lived in in Rye before making a permanent home near Vanderburgh Park in Larchmont. She was nicknamed Dizzy by a sister who had trouble pronouncing her first name.

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As a teenager, Sheridan performed in local productions for Steffi Nossen’s School of Dance. After graduating from Mamaroneck High in 1947, she became a professional dancer in New York. She soon began a relationship with a then-unknown actor named James Dean. Their relationship ended when Dean moved west to pursue a film career. Sheridan detailed their life together in a memoir entitled Dizzy and Jimmy. Sheridan had a decades-long relationship and a daughter with jazz trumpeter Dale Wales, whom she married in 1985.

Bewitched star Elizabeth Montgomery counted Sheridan as her best friend. Sheridan and Montgomery met in 1974 and remained incredibly close until Montgomery’s death in 1995. When Montgomery earned a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Sheridan spoke on her behalf.

“Liz [Sheridan] was always the sweetest, nicest TV mom a son could wish for,” Seinfeld wrote on Twitter. Sheridan was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, CA, alongside her husband.

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