All Oscar Winners/Nominees Who Appeared On Seinfeld

For all the talk about how Seinfeld changed television, not enough has been said about the sitcom’s legacy in the medium of cinema — it’s like no one’s ever seen the legendary bootleg of Death Blow.

Throughout its nine immaculate seasons, Seinfeld always had a close relationship with movie stars. While no one from the main cast ever had much of a film career of which to speak, barring Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ supporting role in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Jerry’s buzzworthy magnum opus Bee Movie, so many of the biggest stars of the 1990s seemed to line up around the block to score a guest spot on a single Seinfeld episode. Among those eager A-listers were some of the most celebrated dramatic actors of their generation — and, with this year’s Academy Awards just around the corner, it’s worth revisiting those moments when Hollywood’s biggest night spilled over into Manhattan’s most chaotic afternoons.

Here are all the Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning actors and actresses who appeared in Seinfeld — seat-fillers, sadly, are not eligible to be listed.

10 Candice Bergen

Murphy Brown star Candice Bergen didn’t win any awards when she reprised her famous TV role in “The Keys” — she got plenty of Emmys on Murphy Brown itself. But before she was on either show, Bergen earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in the 1979 comedy Starting Over, directed by Simpsons legend James L. Brooks. 

9 Bob Balaban

In real life, NBC executive Russell Dalrymple isn’t just an NBC actor — he’s also an accomplished film producer who helped the 2001 mystery dramedy Gosford Park get seven Academy Award nominations and one win for Best Screenplay.

8 Carol Kane

In “The Marine Biologist,” a rash Russian author tosses Elaine’s electronic out the window of Pendant Publishing’s high rise, smashing the Hester Street star in the head on its way down. As if losing out to Louise Fletcher and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at the 48th Academy Awards wasn’t enough, one more gadget flew out the window and into Carol Kane’s cranium at the end of the episode.

7 Bruce Davison

Wyck Thayer, the shrewd chairman of the Susan Ross Foundation, never forgave George for his role in Susan’s death. In Longtime Companion, Davison’s character David grappled with his own mortality and the death of his longtime partner, earning Davison an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

6 Jon Voight

Yes, we made sure to spell that correctly — we wouldn’t want to have to cross-check this entry with Voight’s dental records the way George and Kramer did in “The Mom & Pop Store” when George thought he was driving the Coming Home star’s old car. And, yes, the Academy did mean to give the Academy Award for Best Actor to movie star Jon Voight, not that periodontist John.

5 Marlee Matlin

Jerry’s girlfriend Laura in “The Lip Reader” had more talents than just that title — she’s also the first deaf performer to win an Academy Award for her role in Children of a Lesser God. In fact, her acting skills are even more robust than her lip-reading abilities — the difference between “sleep” and “sweep” is only subtle when it’s not your girlfriend saying it.

4 Catherine Keener

Jerry’s incorrigibly jealous artist girlfriend Nina in “The Letter” may have plagiarized the poem that won Jerry back, but Catherine Keener’s performances in Being John Malkovich and Capote were grade-A genuine showstoppers, with both earning her nominations for Best Supporting Actress.

3 Bryan Cranston

The Academy clearly didn’t take as much issue with Dr. Tim Whatley’s comedic conversion to Judaism as Jerry did in “Yada Yada,” throwing Cranston a nomination for his portrayal of a legendary Golden Age Hollywood screenwriter in Trumbo.

2 Bette Midler

To the disappointment of Broadway and Rochelle Rochelle fans everywhere, George knocked this Tony Award-winner and Oscar-nominated legend out of the Improv’s low-stakes softball game and out of the musical adaptation of the fictitious film in “The Understudy” with a physical play at home plate. That night, Jerry’s girlfriend and Broadway’s Tonya Harding took over the role.

1 Marisa Tomei

Three years before she was nearly wooed by a certain short, stocky bald man, Marisa Tomei won a tall, golden one for her performance as Mona Lisa Vito in My Cousin Vinny. George Costanza has made innumerable mistakes in his life, but there were perhaps no two greater than his decision to first go on a date with her while he was still engaged, then ask her out again before Susan’s body was even cold.

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