Stephen Lee, a beloved “Seinfeld” actor, died in his Los Angeles apartment of a sudden heart attack. “Seinfeld” actor Lee died two weeks ago, according to his friend actress Lisa Pescia. Pescia informed The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, Aug. 27, about Lee’s death which had occurred on Aug. 14.
Lee’s sudden and unexpected death is touching the hearts of many fans who remember him as the inquisitive contractor who installed new kitchen cabinets in Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment, who played mobster and police informant Tony B . on several episodes of CBS’ “Nash Bridges,” and who had appearances in numerous television shows including “Scarecrow and Mrs. King,” “Who’s the Boss?,” “Hill Street Blues,” “Valerie,” “Family Ties,” “Herman’s Head,” “Roseanne,” “Quantum Leap,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Cybill,” “Murder One,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Boston Legal,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “NCIS,” and “Bones.”
After his first onscreen credit in a 1981 episode of “Hart to Hart,” Lee went on to perform as an actor in more than 200 television shows and 39 movies. Some of his movie appearances include “La Bamba,” “Dolls,” “WarGames,” “RoboCop 2,” “The Negotiator,” and many more.
Stephen Lee, the “Seinfeld” actor who died at such a young age and has left so many memorable moments in television viewers’ minds, led a rather personal life in his Los Angeles apartment. After he was born on Nov. 11, 1955, in Englewood in New Jersey, the actor spent the first 15 years of his life in Europe. His father sold and made casino slot machines. After returning to the United States at the age of 15, he attended Hickman High School in Columbia in Missouri and later received a partial scholarship to Avila College in Kansas City, from where he graduated with a BFA. Lee spoke English, German, French and Spanish, and besides acting, he enjoyed golf, tennis, horseback riding, and biking around in his California Sherman Oaks neighborhood.
After hearing the news of Lee’s death, one of his former college mates recalls:
“I went to college with Steve in Kansas City back in the late 1970's and remember hanging around the Student Union shooting pool. He was in many productions while in college and he was a good friend. It was always gratifying to know he made it in Hollywood. The first thing I remember seeing him in was Purple Heats with Cheryl Ladd and Ken Wahl. He played as character named Wizard. I always looked forward to whatever new project he had coming up. He was great in Seinfeld. I also liked him in Maggie Briggs with Suzanne Pleshette. So sorry to hear of his passing.”