Seinfeld actor, Charles Levin, was reportedly eaten by vultures after he seemingly got lost in the mountains of Oregon.
Levin went missing sometime in June. A few weeks later the 70-year-old’s damaged car was located by police, and the veteran actor’s body was found some thirty meters away.
Charles Levin stared in over 60 movies and TV shows, most famously perhaps in Seinfeld where he played the mohel.
Our thoughts go out to Levin’s family and friends at this hard, hard time.
Keep reading to learn more about Seinfeld and Levin’s tragic death.
Seinfeld Was Supposed To Be a One-Off Television Special
Seinfeld was nearly not a sitcom.
NBC originally commission the idea as a 90-minute special called Stand Up. It was going to air during Saturday Night Live’s timeslot, but then those silly execs came to their senses.
When asked if they meant to make Seinfeld a show about nothing, Seinfeld told Reddit, “The pitch for the show, the real pitch, when Larry and I went to NBC in 1988, was we want to show how a comedian gets his material.”
“The show about nothing was just a joke in an episode many years later, and Larry and I to this day are surprised that it caught on as a way that people describe the show, because to us it’s the opposite of that.”
Seinfeld Never Won an Emmy
Not only was Elaine’s father based on Larry David’s terrifying real-life ex, Monica Yate’s father, Richard Yates, but the actor chosen to play him, Lawrence Tierney, was also fear-inducing.
He once stole a butcher knife from the set.
In the pilot, the show’s creators originally named Kramer Kessler. Why? The character was based on Larry David’s real neighbor, Kenny Kramer, and Kenny wouldn’t give up the rights to his name.
He eventually caved for $1,000. Seem low? Don’t worry! Kenny Kramer also runs a Seinfeld bus tour, which is still going strong after 19 years.
He’s got in made in the shade.
One of the show’s writers encountered a girl with a similar phone message in real life.
Once they wrote her into the show, the writers called her and left a message, telling her to watch the night’s new episode.
Much like Kramer was based on a real person, so too was George Costanza. At least that’s what Seinfeld’s former friend, Michael Costanza claims.
He sued the show for $100 million, claiming its creators violated his privacy. A judge ruled in the creator’s favor, claiming the character was actually based on Larry David, but Michael still wrote a book called…The Real Seinfeld (As Told by the Real Costanza), detailing his version of the story.
In the tell-all, Costanza writes, “George is bald. I am bald. George is stocky. I am stocky. George and I both went to Queens College with Jerry. George’s high-school teacher nicknamed him ‘Can’t stand ya.’ So did mine. George had a thing about bathrooms and parking spaces. So do I.”
How Costanza of him.
Before Jason Alexander snagged the role, Jerry Seinfeld begged fellow comedian, Jake Johannsen, to play George Costanza.
Bet that guy cries himself to sleep at night.
It’s during the marine biologist episode.
When George pulls out the golf ball in the end.
Seinfeld’s costume crew dress George Costanza in clothes one size too small.
They thought the smaller clothes would make him seem all the more awkward.
They weren’t wrong.
Jason Alexander never thought Seinfeld would reach the heights it did.
“With this show (Seinfeld),” he once explained to Deseret News, “from the moment I saw the script I thought it would be the most brilliant thing I’d ever be part of, and that it would not run for even a day.”
“Because the audience for this show is me, and I don’t watch TV, but I don’t think anyone is more surprised by the success of (Seinfeld) than we are, because we thought, `Oh, we’ll amuse ourselves, and that’ll be it. We’ll have a videotape at the end of it that we could play at parties.'”
Larry David left George Castanza out of one episode in the show’s third season (the one when Jerry and Elaine go to Florida to visit Jerry’s parents) and Jason was not having it.
He warned David, “If you do it again, do it permanently.”
Larry David wholeheartedly believed that the show would only retain its unique sense of humor if its character never hugged nor learned anything of consequence.
Then, and only then, could they remain the lovable idiots we all seemingly couldn’t and still can’t not watch.
Good call, Lar.
Before Dumb & Dumber, the Farrelly Brothers Wrote For Seinfeld
These kings of comedy wrote the season four episode, “The Virgin.”
Jerry dates Marla the virgin? Elaine teachers her sex-ed? Yaaas!
People LOVED Kramer.
They loved Kramer so much that the studio audience wranglers often had to actively curb viewers’ incessant clapping because it just lasted so darn long.
I mean, can you blame them? Kramer!
Remember the backwards episode in season nine?
That one was inspired by a Harold Pinter play called The Betrayal, which also followed a non-linear structure.
The pilot episode and the series’s final episode each feature the same scene. Same words. Different contexts.
Because that button was in the worst possible spot.
It did make or break the shirt. It really, really did.
NBC executives decided to increase buzz around the series finale by having their audience members, made up of exclusively friends and other studio executives, sign “vows of silence.”
They also leaked false rumors.
That’s some next-level mind-gaming right there.
Starring in episode 69 of Seinfeld, Levin played the legendary mohel character.
The mohel was booked to perform a circumcision but he’s unbelievably irritable and even implies that he was once charged with malpractice for botching a circumcision. As you can probably imagine, his behavior makes Jerry incredibly anxious.
As a result of Jerry’s nervousness, he flinches as the circumcision gets underway and… the mohel cuts off Jerry’s finger.
With recurring roles in NYPD Blue and Hill Street Blues, Levin was a household name for many film and TV buffs.
He also played minor roles in such classic films as Annie Hall, Manhattan, and This Is Spinal Tap.
Levin was reported missing by his son Jesse in July, who said that he hadn’t heard from his father since June 28.
Shortly afterwords, police located Levin’s damaged car on a remote mountain pass. Levin’s dog was found dead in the car.
Just meters away, Levin’s body was found by police.
TMZ has reported today that his body was decomposing and ‘missing internal organs’ when he was found.
The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety report on Levin’s death claimed there ‘were signs of animal scavenging likely in the form of turkey vultures as there was evidence of bird feces on and around the body’.
It’s thought Levin got stuck while trying to find his way home on the remote mountain pass. It’s believed his car got stuck and he slipped while trying to find help.
Locals have claimed the road is far too dangerous to drive on.
Our thoughts go out to Levin’s family and friends at this hard time.
Rest in peace.