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'Seinfeld' Actor Reveals What He Truly Loved About His 'Over-The-Top' Character

"The writers started writing for this character, they started writing for me, and I was having a lot of fun with him."

Though there's a generation of television fans who know John O'Hurley for his successful stint on "Dancing with the Stars," the 61-year-old thespian is likely more recognized for his memorable role on "Seinfeld," playing Elaine's eccentric, colorful boss.

For three years, O'Hurley portrayed J. Peterman, and though it's been more than 17 years since the "Seinfeld" finale aired, O'Hurley tells "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" that he still holds incredibly fond memories of the experience.

"I do watch the reruns because it's a little like comfort food to me," he says. "It reminded me of a wonderful time in my life."

O'Hurley joined the "Seinfeld" cast during the height of its popularity, and he says everyone there -- including the four sta
O'Hurley joined the "Seinfeld" cast during the height of its popularity, and he says everyone there -- including the four stars -- had "tremendous respect for what the show had become."

Part of what made his time on "Seinfeld" so wonderful, O'Hurley explains, is how everyone approached the J. Peterman character.

"The experience on 'Seinfeld' gave me a chance to create a character that was just totally over-the-top and then eventually let him evolve," he says. "The writers started writing for this character, they started writing for me, and I was having a lot of fun with him."

Of course, coming onto the show in 1995 as O'Hurley did also meant that he was joining one of the most successful series on TV, a fact that he says was never lost on him, nor the show's stars.

"You knew early on that you were on the number-one show on television, and probably the number-one show in history," he says. "I think everybody there -- the four [leading cast members] and certainly the supporting cast -- always felt that way as well: tremendous respect for what the show had become."

"Oprah: Where Are They Now?" airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.

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