Hiram Kasten, Beloved Comedian and TV Actor, Passes Away at 71

Hiram Kasten, Beloved Comedian and TV Actor, Passes Away at 71

Hiram Kasten, a beloved comedian and actor known for his roles in Seinfeld and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, dies at 71 after battling multiple illnesses.

Early Life and Career

Hiram Kasten, born Hiram Z. Kastenbaum in the Bronx, always dreamed of becoming an actor.

His journey in comedy began in the vibrant New York comedy scene of the 1970s and 1980s, where he became a familiar face at clubs like Comic Strip, Catch a Rising Star, The Improv, The Comedy Cellar, and Caroline’s.

Friendship with Jerry Seinfeld

Kasten’s career took a notable turn at Comic Strip, where he met then-MC Jerry Seinfeld.

Their friendship blossomed, leading to Kasten’s eventual appearances on Seinfeld’s legendary TV show.

Comedy ClubsSignificance
Comic StripMet Jerry Seinfeld, regular performer
Catch a Rising StarFrequent appearances
The ImprovRegular comedian
The Comedy CellarRegular performer
Caroline’sPopular spot in the 70s and 80s
Dangerfield’sRan his own show on Sunday nights for many years

Move to Los Angeles and TV Appearances

In the late 1980s, Kasten moved to Los Angeles, where his career flourished.

He secured roles in numerous popular TV shows, including Mad About You, Everybody Loves Raymond, Curb Your Enthusiasm, 7th Heaven, Brooklyn Bridge, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, My Wife and Kids, Men of a Certain Age, Cybill, and LA Law.

In Seinfeld, he notably portrayed Michael, a coworker of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ character, Elaine.

Las Vegas and Cruise Performances

Kasten’s talent extended beyond television.

He headlined a show at Las Vegas Desert Inn titled The Rat Pack is Back and later toured globally with his comedy through Seabourn, Royal Viking, and Princess cruise lines.

Personal Life and Legacy

His loving family marked Kasten’s personal life.

He is survived by his wife, Diana Kisiel Kastenbaum, his daughter, Millicent Jade, his brother-in-law, Kevin John Kisiel, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Kasten passed away the day after he and Diana celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary.

Family MembersRelationship
Diana Kisiel KastenbaumWife
Millicent JadeDaughter
Kevin John KisielBrother-in-law
Various nieces, nephews, cousinsExtended family

Battle with Illness

Hiram Kasten bravely fought several illnesses, including prostate cancer and Crohn’s disease, for seven years before passing away at his home in Batavia, New York.

Memorial Services

Funeral services for Kasten will be held at Schwartz Brothers-Jeffers Memorial Chapel in Forest Hills, New York, and in Los Angeles later this summer.

The family has requested that any memorial tributes be made through charitable donations to Crossroads House or the Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund).

Remembering Hiram Kasten

Hiram Kasten’s legacy in the comedy world and memorable TV roles have left an indelible mark on audiences and fellow comedians alike.

His work brought joy and laughter to many, and he will be fondly remembered by all who knew him.

Interesting Fact

Despite his extensive TV career, Hiram Kasten continued to perform live, sharing his humor with audiences on cruise lines and showcasing his enduring passion for making people laugh.

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