The actor, who played Seinfeld’s Uncle Leo in the sitcom, passed away from cancer-related pneumonia in California on Wednesday (16Feb11), according to his family.
Lesser was a familiar face on U.S. TV for decades, appearing in successful shows including Get Smart, The Munsters, The Monkees and The Rockford Files.
In his later years, the towering actor’s roles as hitmen or criminals gave way to ageing comedy characters, including his Seinfeld role and his appearances as arm-shaking Garvin in Everybody Loves Raymond.
He also appeared in several movies, such as The Outlaw Josey Wales, Kelly’s Heroes and Birdman of Alcatraz.
He is survived by a daughter and son, as well as three grandchildren.