Jason Alexander Reveals Why Susan Was Killed Off On 'Seinfeld'

SEINFELD -- 'The Engagement' Episode 1 -- Pictured: (l-r) Heidi Swedberg as Susan Biddle Ross, Jason Alexander as George Cost
SEINFELD -- 'The Engagement' Episode 1 -- Pictured: (l-r) Heidi Swedberg as Susan Biddle Ross, Jason Alexander as George Costanza (Photo by Gary Null/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Remember Susan Ross? Of course you do: she was George Costanza's fiancée who died from licking envelopes on "Seinfeld."

Since the 1996 Season 7 finale, fans have wondered why Heidi Swedberg's Susan was axed from the sitcom. The rumor was that Jason Alexander didn't like working with her. To set the record straight, Howard Stern asked the actor what the real story was during "The Howard Stern Show" on Wednesday.

"The actress is this wonderful girl. I love her," Alexander assured Stern at first. But the real problem was figuring out "how to play off of her," the actor said. "Her instincts for doing a scene -- where the comedy was, and mine -- were always misfiring."

But Larry David continued to write Susan into the show, calling Alexander to tell him George would be marrying Susan. "We could do the most horrible things to her," Alexander told Stern, "but the audience was still on my side." Finally, though, the rest of the cast learned how difficult it was to play off of Swedberg's character.

After Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jerry Seinfeld both had scenes with her, they knew it wasn't going to work any longer. "'It's fucking impossible,'" Alexander recalled them saying. "Julia said, 'Don't you wanna just kill her?' And Larry went 'Ka-bang!'" And that is how Susan Ross died from cheap envelope glue.

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UPDATE: Alexander later took to Twitter and wrote that he feels "officially awful" for retelling the story and how his comments came across.

But in telling this story, it sounds like we are putting a heavy burden on Heidi. I, personally, am not. Heidi would always ask if there was anything in the scenes she could do or if I had any thoughts. She was generous and gracious and I am so mad at myself for retelling this story in any way that would diminish her. If I had had more maturity or more security in my own work, I surely would have taken her query and possibly tried to adjust the scenes with her. She surely offered. But, I didn't have that maturity or security. And, Larry and Jerry would probably have killed me as it was all playing exactly as they wanted. Clearly Susan and George were coming off just the way they wanted.



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