‘Seinfeld’ Actor Dies at Age 71

Hiram Kasten, a renowned actor recognized for his roles in popular television shows such as “Seinfeld,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and “Saved by the Bell,” has passed away at the age of 71. His wife, Diana Kisiel Kastenbaum, shared the news of his passing on Facebook, revealing that Kasten had been fighting prostate cancer. The actor passed away in his wife’s arms, just hours after they celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary.

Kasten, a New York native, also battled Crohn’s disease for the last seven years of his life. He passed away at his residence in Batavia, New York. According to his wife’s post, Kasten’s health had been deteriorating since 2017, leading him to step back from his career. However, he only began to share the severity of his condition with his friends in the past six months.

Despite his health challenges, Kasten’s spirit remained strong, bolstered by the support of his comedy and artistic community. Friends visited him in Batavia, and late-night Zoom meetings with friends from both coasts became a regular occurrence. His wife noted that these interactions, filled with laughter and camaraderie, extended his life by at least two months.

Kasten’s career in comedy began in the New York City circuit, where he became a regular performer at the Comic Strip, a venue that once hosted Jerry Seinfeld. Seinfeld approved Kasten at his first audition, marking the beginning of a friendship that lasted 45 years. Kasten also shared close friendships with other notable figures in the comedy world, including Michael Richards, Paul Reiser, Larry Miller, and Mark Schiff.

In addition to his performances at the Comic Strip, Kasten performed stand-up at the Improv, the Comedy Cellar, Carolines on Broadway, and Dangerfield’s. Beyond his role as Michael on “Seinfeld,” Kasten’s acting credits include appearances on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Cybill,” “Mad About You,” and “Everybody Loves Raymond.” In the early 2000s, he also appeared on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” “My Wife and Kids,” and “7th Heaven.”

A funeral service for Kasten will be held at Schwartz Brothers-Jeffer Memorial Chapel in Forest Hills, New York, with the date to be announced later. An official memorial service is also planned to take place in Los Angeles, California, later this summer. Kasten is survived by his wife Diana, daughter Millicent Jade, and brother-in-law Kevin John Kisiel.