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New York Comedian and TV Actor Was 71

New York Comedian and TV Actor Was 71

New York Comedian and TV Actor Was 71

Hiram Kasten, a comedian well-known across the New York comedy club circuit and in shows such as Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died. He was 71.

Kasten died in his home in Batavia, New York, after seven years of fighting several illnesses, including prostate cancer and Crohn’s disease, an obituary in his local paper The Batavian reported.

Kasten was a regular comedian at New York’s Comic Strip, where he met then-MC Jerry Seinfeld and the two eventually became friends.

He also made regular appearances at Catch a Rising Star, The Improv, The Comedy Cellar and Caroline’s. At Dangerfield’s, he ran his own show on Sunday nights for many years.

In the 1980s, Kasten moved to Los Angeles and eventually appeared in shows such as 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 L.A. Law. In Seinfeld, he played Michael, a coworker of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Elaine.

He also landed a show at Las Vegas’ Desert Inn titled The Rat Pack is Back, and later traveled the world with his comedy via Seabourn, Royal Viking and Princess cruise lines.

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

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Survivors include his wife, Diana Kisiel Kastenbaum, his daughter, Millicent Jade, his brother-in-law, Kevin John Kisiel, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Kasten died the day after he and Diana’s 38th wedding anniversary.

Funeral services are set to be held at Schwartz Brothers-Jeffers Memorial Chapel in Forest Hills, New York. A memorial service will be held in Los Angeles later this summer. The family has asked anyone wanting to make a memorial tribute to do so via charitable donation to Crossroads House or the Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund).

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