Susie Essman

Susie Essman
Susie Essman at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg
Essman at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Whatever Works.
Birth nameSusan Essman
Born (1955-05-31) May 31, 1955 (age 66)
The Bronx, New York City, U.S.
MediumFilm, television, stand-up
EducationState University of New York, Purchase (BFA)
Years active1988–present
Jim Harder
(m. 2008)
Notable works and rolesCurb Your Enthusiasm

Susan 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, Bobbi Wexler on Broad City, and the voice of Mittens in Bolt.

Early life

Essman was born in The Bronx, New York City, and was raised in the suburb of Mount Vernon. Her father, Leonard Essman, was an internist and clinical oncologist. Her mother, Zora (née Pressman), taught Russian at Sarah Lawrence College. She is the great granddaughter of silent film actor and Russian opera impresario Leo Feodoroff.[1] Essman is Jewish; her grandparents emigrated from Russia and Poland.[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 three decades. In 1988, she appeared on HBO with Joy Behar and other rising female comedians on On Location: Women of the Night II. On January 5, 1989, she was a guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Her first half-hour special premiered on September 20, 1992 on HBO’s One Night Stand.[citation needed] 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.

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.[4]

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 2008 Disney animated film, Bolt, and later reprised the role in the 2009 short Super Rhino, released on the film's home media. She also made an appearance on the Regis Philbin version of Million Dollar Password.[citation needed]


Essman's book, What Would Susie Say: Bullshit Wisdom About Love, Life and Comedy, was published in October 2009 by Simon & Schuster.[5]

Personal life

Essman used to be[6] 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 Popeye.[8]

Essman is a good friend of Joy Behar, and has appeared on The View multiple times. In 2009, Behar hosted an event at the 92Y with Essman as a guest.[9]



1991Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the OozeSoho Woman
1997What's Your Sign?Carla
2000Keeping the FaithEllen Friedman
2005The ManLt. Rita Carbone
2008BoltMittens (voice)
2010Cop OutLaura
2017Band AidShirley


1988–1989Baby BoomCharlotte Elkman13 episodes
1991–1992True ColorsMrs. Wampler2 episodes
1993Women AloudPanelistEpisode: Waist Management
1994Hardcore TVSports Lady2 episodes
1995Ned and StaceyAunt Ceil"Thanksgiving Day Massacre"
1998Dr. Katz, Professional TherapistSelf (voice)Episode: Waltz
2000–presentCurb Your EnthusiasmSusie GreeneMain role; 65 episodes
2002The King of QueensMarciaEpisode: No Orleans
2002Law and Order: Criminal IntentRon Sherwood's SecretaryEpisode: Badge
1997–2002Law & OrderPerformer2 episodes
2002–2003Crank YankersHelen Higgins (voice)4 episodes
2003Kim PossibleSadie (voice)"Car Trouble"
2006Dora the ExplorerQueen BeeEpisode: Dora's First Trip
2009Loving LeahMalkaTelevision film
2009–presentAmerican Dad!Mrs. Lonstein (voice)Recurring role
2012Adventure TimeBarb (voice)Episode: Web Weirdos
2013Blue BloodsJudge Clarice KarlEpisode: Front Page News
2015Weird LonersEvelyn Goldfarb2 episodes
2015–2019Broad CityBobbi Wexler8 episodes
2015–2018Law & Order: Special Victims UnitArlene Heller4 episodes
2016–2019Those Who Can'tLeslie Brohn10 episodes
2017The GoldbergsEdie RobbEpisode: So Swayze It's Crazy
2019Bless This MessDonna7 episodes
2020Harley QuinnSharon Quinzel, Grandma Quinzel (voice)Episode: "Bensonhurst"

Awards and Nominations

2006Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Ensemble in a Comedy SeriesCurb Your EnthusiasmNominated[citation needed]
2015Critics' Choice Television AwardBest Guest Performer in a Comedy SeriesBroad CityNominated
2018Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Ensemble in a Comedy SeriesCurb Your EnthusiasmNominated


  1. ^ a b c New York Times, March 5, 2003: "Eating Hollywood Style, With Thin Air on the Side".
  2. ^ Westbrook, Caroline (October 7, 2007). "Susie Essman bio interview". Retrieved June 23, 2010. Both my parents are Jewish...
  3. ^ CINDY SHER on October 04, 2012 (October 4, 2012). "JUF News | Veteran comics Susie Essman and Richard Lewis to bring the laughs to JUF's Vanguard Nov. 5". Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  4. ^ Slate, Lapidos, Juliet. November 23, 2003: "Oh, How We've Missed You! The Best Characters on Television"
  5. ^ Wadler, Joyce (October 7, 2009). "At Home With Susie Essman". The New York Times. Retrieved October 31, 2009.
  6. ^ "Ep 58: Susie Essman".
  7. ^ SEPT. 13, 2008 (September 13, 2008). "Essman, Harder Marry". Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  8. ^ Famous Shih Tzu Dogs – Celebrities Who Own a Shih Tzu
  9. ^ "Susie Essman with Joy Behar: What Would Susie Say?". October 25, 2009. Retrieved July 19, 2021.

External links