Posted: Tuesday January 2, 2007 10:32AM; Updated: Wednesday January 3, 2007 10:59AM
Have a question or opinion for Pete? He might answer/address it in his mailbag.
6. Catherine Keener as Jerry's girlfriend Nina Long before she came to prominence in films such as Being John Malkovich and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Keener played the artist who painted a memorable portrait of Kramer in '92's "The Letter." When Jerry broke up with her after Elaine refused to take off her Orioles hat in the owner's box at Yankees Stadium (long story), Nina got him back by penning an eloquent and seemingly heartfelt letter. Alas, it turned out that she cribbed the sentiments from a Neil Simon movie.
7. Christine Taylor as Jerry's girlfriend Ellen Taylor was still several years from becoming Mrs. Ben Stiller when she appeared on the show of Ben's dad Jerry, aka Frank Costanza. In '97's "The Van Buren Boys," Taylor plays a woman who seems terrific to Jerry but suspect to his friends, with the discrepancy becoming so glaring that Jerry doubts his ability to judge. He finally flies his parents in for another opinion, but when they agree with his positive assessment, he just becomes more convinced that she's a dud. One reason some might not recognize Taylor is that her hair in the episode is much darker than the blonde locks she currently sports.
8. Peter Krause as Tim Well before SportsNight and Six Feet Under, Krause played Tim the Neo-Nazi in '92's "The Limo." George and Jerry pretend that George is someone named O'Brien to "borrow" a limo at JFK Airport, except O'Brien turns out to be a famed Neo-Nazi on his way to give a hate-mongering speech at Madison Square Garden. Tim/Krause is in the limo along with the lovely Eva, who makes a pass at George when she still thinks he's O'Brien. Curiously, Eva (Suzanne Snyder) has barely been heard from since, with her last role coming in the '97 Matthew Perry-Salma Hayek film Fools Rush In.
9. Courteney Cox as Jerry's girlfriend Meryl Some might argue that Cox doesn't belong on this list because Ace Ventura opened six weeks before her '94 Seinfeld appearance in (and as) "The Wife." Still, surprise hit Ace was just building momentum at that point and its buzz focused on leading man Jim Carrey; it would still be several months before Cox herself rocketed to stardom as part of the Friends cast. As Meryl, Cox posed as Jerry's wife so they could receive a dry-cleaning discount, only to discover that they weren't ready for the demands of a fake marriage. Still, they'd always have pancakes.
10. Jon Gries as Rusty You might not recognize the name, but Gries played Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite. You might also recognize his face from several Seinfeld episodes as homeless guy Rusty. In '98's "The Bookstore," for instance, Rusty runs off with the rickshaw that Kramer and Newman were hoping he might pull for them. Still, Gries might not even be the best-known Rusty in Seinfeld lore. As Kramer notes when meeting him, "I once knew a horse named Rusty. No offense."
Honorable Mention:Amanda Peet as Jerry's girlfriend Linette (who lived with a guy) in '97's "The Summer of George"; Denise Richards as NBC president Russell Dalrymple's daughter Molly in '93's "The Shoes"; Kristin Davis as Jerry's girlfriend (and later Kenny Bania's girlfriend) Jenna, whose toothbrush fell in the toilet, in two '97 episodes; Lauren Graham as Jerry's girlfriend Valerie with the speed-dial hierarchy in '97's "The Millennium"; Debra Messing in two '96-97 episodes as Beth, the attractive woman that Jerry pines over until it turns out that she's a racist; Marcia Cross as Dr. Sara Sitarides (aka Pimple-Popper MD) in '97's "The Slicer"; Brad Garrett as mechanic Tony in '96's "The Bottle Deposit"; Jane Leeves in four episodes as Marla, including '92's "The Virgin"; Jon Favreau as Eric the Clown in '94's "The Fire"; Daniel Dae Kim (Jin on Lost) as Student No. 1 in '98's "The Burning," as one of the med students that has to guess the diseases "portrayed" by Kramer and Mickey.