The actor told Howard Stern why the character of Susan, George Costanza's fiancée, had to die.
Jason Alexander and Heidi Swedberg in Seinfeld. Their faces also represent how the actors felt working together.
Seinfeld fans have long discussed the death of Susan Ross, George's longtime on-again, off-again girlfriend. The characters became engaged at the start of season 7, much to George's chagrin. The arc continued for so long that the fans assumed they were going to be married. Then, in a major twist, she died in the season finale, poisoned by cut-rate wedding invitation envelopes bought by George. It was a shockingly dark turn for a show that was already one of the darkest comedies on TV.
Since then, rumors have swirled that Susan died because of behind-the-scenes drama. The theory was that Jason Alexander so disliked Heidi Swedberg, he demanded the character be axed. And today, for the first time, Alexander finally told his side of the story publicly, in an interview on The Howard Stern Show. Here's the clip:
It turns out that the story is mostly true, with one particular exception. Alexander actually liked Swedberg a lot, but found it frustrating to act alongside her. Chemistry for comic actors is a tricky business, and sometimes it just doesn't work. Alexander never demanded she be fired, but Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David certainly knew about his complaints. It wasn't until Seinfeld himself had to act with Swedberg, however, that the decision was made to kill her character so unceremoniously.
I hope she doesn't take this news too hard. It was almost 20 years ago, but based on the fact that I don't know her from anything else, this must have been her biggest role, and now she's being taken apart for it. Not to mention the fact that Alexander sounds pretty condescending calling her a "terrific girl." Then again, I don't feel too bad for any Seinfeld actor. Those royalty checks must soften the blow.