Susie Essman

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Susie Essman
File:Susie Essman at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg
Essman at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Whatever Works.
Birth name Susan Essman
Born (1955-05-31) May 31, 1955 (age 63)
The Bronx, New York City
Medium Film, television, stand-up
Nationality American
Years active 1988–present
Spouse Jim Harder (2008–present)

Susan "Susie" Essman (born May 31, 1955) is an American stand-up comedian, actress, writer and television producer, best known for her role as Susie Greene on Curb Your Enthusiasm and the voice of Mittens in Bolt.

Early life

Essman was born in The Bronx, New York City, and was raised in the middle-class New York City suburb of Mount Vernon. Her father, Leonard Essman, was an internist who died in 2001. Her mother, Zora, taught Russian at Sarah Lawrence College.[1] Essman is Jewish.[2][3] She received her bachelor's degree from SUNY Purchase College.



Essman has been traveling and appearing at clubs throughout the country for more than two decades. Her first half-hour special appeared on Comedy Central in 1992; as much of her comedy draws from her ethnic background, she has been featured in such documentaries as, "Heroes of Jewish Comedy" and "A History of Jewish Comedy".

On October 15, 2004, she performed at the Friars Club roast of Donald Trump, in which she lampooned the tycoon with lines like "Donald, did you enjoy your meal? I heard your hair ordered the salmon" and "I'm so not your type. I'm smart, my boobs are real, and I speak English."[4] Essman made her U.K. standup comedy debut at the Corn Exchange at the Newbury Comedy Festival in July 2007. While in England, she appeared on the British television show 8 Out of 10 Cats.

Essman began her acting career with small parts in two 1988 films – "Crocodile" Dundee II and Punchline – but is best known for her role as Susie Greene, the wife of Jeff Greene (portrayed by Jeff Garlin), on the HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm. Essman told The New York Times that, by the show's third season, she could not "walk down the street anymore without people stopping her and begging her to say [her character's catchphrase] 'You fat fuck'".[1] In 2007, Slate named Essman's character one of the best on television, and a reason the publication looked forward to the return of the show.[5]

She also provided the voice of Helen Higgins on the Comedy Central series Crank Yankers; she was an occasional correspondent on the first season of the network's The Daily Show. She appeared on Comedy Central's Roast of Bob Saget on August 17, 2008 and provided the voice of "Mittens" (the cat) in the Disney animated film, Bolt, and reprised the role in the 2009 short Super Rhino. She also made an appearance on the Regis Philbin version of Million Dollar Password.[citation needed]

In October 2013, she had a sell out run at London's Soho Theatre. She also appeared as the sole guest on Gilbert Gottfried's first podcast recorded before a live audience at the Fontana bar in Manhattan's Chinatown in January 2015.


Essman's book, What Would Susie Say: Bullshit Wisdom About Love, Life and Comedy, was published in October 2009 by Simon & Schuster.[6]

Personal life

Essman is a pescatarian—"Not a moral thing," she explains, but "aesthetic"; chicken "grosses me out"—and "lives on sushi".[1] She married Jim Harder, a commercial real estate broker, in September 2008.[7] She owns a Shih Tzu named Sumo.[8]


Year Title Role Notes
1988 "Crocodile" Dundee II Tour Guide
1988 Punchline Lilah's Hairdresser
1991 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze Soho Woman
1997 Volcano Anita
1998 The Siege Protest Speaker
2000 Keeping the Faith Ellen Friedman
2002 The Secret Lives of Dentists Nurse
2005 The Man Lt. Rita Carbone
2008 Bolt Mittens Voice only
2010 Cop Out Laura
Year Title Role Notes
1988–1989 Baby Boom Charlotte Elkman 13 episodes
1992 True Colors Jewel Episode: "Art Attack"
1994 Hardcore TV Sports Lady 2 episodes
1995 Ned & Stacey Aunt Ceil Episode: "Thanksgiving Day Massacre"
1997; 2004 Law & Order Ms. Shapiro / Veronica Reynolds 2 episodes
2000–2011 Curb Your Enthusiasm Susie Greene 52 episodes
2002 The King of Queens Marcia Episode: "No Orleans"
2002 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Ron Sherwood's Secretary Episode: "Badge"
2003 Kim Possible Sadie (voice) Episode: "Car Trouble"
2002–2003 Crank Yankers Helen Higgins (voice) 4 episodes
2004 Dora the Explorer Queen Bee (voice) Episode; "Dora's First Trip"
2009 Loving Leah Malka Movie
2012 Adventure Time Barb (voice) Episode: "Web Weirdos"
2015 Broad City Bobbi Wexler 2 episodes
2015 Weird Loners Evelyn Goldfarb 2 episodes
2015 Late Night Joy Co-Host 5 episodes


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 New York Times, March 5, 2003: "Eating Hollywood Style, With Thin Air on the Side".
  2. Westbrook, Caroline (October 7, 2007). "Susie Essman interview". Retrieved 2010-06-23. Both my parents are Jewish...<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Official Susie Essman website
  5. Slate, Lapidos, Juliet. November 23, 2003: "Oh, How We've Missed You! The Best Characters on Television"
  6. Wadler, Joyce (October 7, 2009). "At Home With Susie Essman". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Essman, Harder Marry
  8. Famous Shih Tzu Dogs – Celebrities Who Own a Shih Tzu

External links