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Len Lesser

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Len Lesser
Len Lesser - IMDb
Veteran character actor Len Lesser appeared as Billy Pendergast, an old Army platoon buddy of Archie's on "All In The Family".


Leonard King Lesser


(1922-12-03)December 3, 1922


New York City, New York, U.S.


February 16, 2011(2011-02-16) (aged 88)

Deathplace and cause

Burbank, California, U.S. (Pneumonia)



Years active


Character played on AITF

Billy Pendergast in the episode "Success Story" in Season 1

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Leonard King "Len" Lesser (December 3, 1922 – February 16, 2011) appeared as Billy Pendergast, one of Archie's old Army platoon buddies during WWII, in the episode "Success Story" in Season 1. He was known for a key role in the Clint Eastwood movie Kelly's Heroes and his recurring role as Uncle Leo in the NBC-TV series Seinfeld,[1] which began during the show's second season in "The Pony Remark" episode.

Early lifeEdit

Lesser was born in The Bronx, NY. His father, a grocer, was a Jewish immigrant from Poland. Lesser received his bachelor's degree from the City College of New York (CCNY) in 1942 at the age of 19.[2] Lesser enlisted in the United States Army the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and served in the China Burma India Theater during World War II.[3]


Lesser worked for years in film, TV and on stage. His résumé included projects with Clint Eastwood, Barbra Streisand, Lee Marvin, Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen. Lesser appeared on American television steadily since 1955 on scores of TV classics such as The Monkees, Have Gun-Will Travel, The Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Get Smart, Family Affair, Quincy M.E., The Rockford Files, The Amazing Spider-Man, Mad About You, Seinfeld, [4]All in the Family, Boy Meets World, Smart Guy, The Munsters, and, most recently, Castle. He appeared in a variety of films such as The Outlaw Josey Wales and the 1977 cult classic Supervan.

Later yearsEdit

Len also had a recurring role on the CBS-TV series Everybody Loves Raymond as "Garvin", a friend of Frank Barone, who always lifted his arms in excitement whenever he saw Ray (as Lesser did in Seinfeld as "Uncle Leo" whenever he saw his nephew, Jerry). He was most recently on stage in Jeff Seymour's critically acclaimed stage production of Cold Storage at the University of Toronto's George Ignatieff Theatre.[5]

Death Edit

On February 16, 2011, Lesser died of cancer-related pneumonia[6] in Burbank, California, at the age of 88.[7]

Jerry Seinfeld, after Lesser's death, said of him, "Len was one of our favorites. We always loved having him on the show. I'll never forget when Uncle Leo was in prison and tattooed 'Jerry Hello' on his knuckles. He was a very sweet guy." Other Seinfeld castmate Jason Alexander tweeted,

Thanks to all of you for your kind remarks re: Len Lessor (sic). Tonight was the opening of Gigi at my beloved Reprise Theater Company and I've only returned at this late hour to hear the news.

Len was a tremendous guy. He was a smart actor/comedian who knew exactly what he was doing in the creation of Uncle Leo. I enjoyed many wonderful conversations with Len who was so openly grateful to be part of our show and so humble about his stunning contribution to it. I am so happy to have known him and my sympathies go to his family. But his was a fun life and he leaves many fans behind and many who will be enjoying his work for years to come.

"Hellooo" Uncle Leo. And goodbye. Sleep well. Much love.


References Edit

External linksEdit

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