'Seinfeld' Actor And Comedian Hiram Kasten Dead At 71

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Comedian and actor Hiram Kasten, who played the recurring role of Michael on Seinfeld, has died at the age of 71, according to an obituary shared on his Facebook page.

Kasten died at his home in Batavia, New York, on Sunday (June 16), hours after his 38th wedding anniversary with his wife, Diana Kisiel Kastenbaum, according to the post. The comedian reportedly faced a seven-year battle with a multitude of illnesses, including prostate cancer.

"In 2017, his health had taken a downturn and he no longer performed or actively pursued his career," the Facebook post stated. "Never mentioning it to his friends, he carried on as usual over the phone and with trips to NY and LA. After seven years of fighting through a multitude of illnesses including prostate cancer and his lifelong battle with Crohn’s disease, he only began to share the terminality of it all with his friends in the last six months. His great comedy and artistic community rallied to his side. Some made trips to Batavia to visit him, late night Zoom meetings with friends on both coasts ensued and went into the wee hours of the morning. On his first Zoom, he held court. He loved it and was at the top of his game throwing down references of comedy history and recalling stories from the past. Diana said it prolonged his life for at least another two months to be able to laugh with his peers."

Kasten met Seinfeld titular star and fellow comedian Jerry Seinfeld, then the MC of The Comic Strip, during his first audition at the popular New York City comedy club and the two started a friendship lasting 45 years. Kasten moved to Los Angeles in the late-1980s and landed a role in the pilot for the CBS show Dr. Paradise before several other roles, which included playing Michael, the co-worker of Elaine Benes on Seinfeld for three episodes.


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