Seinfeld Stars Send Videos to Terminally Ill Fan for His Last Birthday

Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Julia Louis-Dreyfus John Sciulli/Getty Images

If you didn't already love the cast of Seinfeld, you will after this story. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, John O'Hurley, Wayne Knight, and several other beloved stars from the classic sitcom gave one terminally ill fan, James Anthony Calder, a truly priceless gift for what would have been his last birthday. At the request of the man's son, who wrote about their kindness for the Huffington Post, the actors sent videos of themselves talking to Calder in character.

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According to his son, also named James, Calder died of a "rare form of nonsmoking lung cancer" in early November, just three days shy of his 67th birthday. James and his wife had been gathering birthday messages from friends and family for about a month, and had recently decided to reach out to the cast of his dad's favorite show.

"The Seinfeld birthday project was born, but we really weren't sure how and if it would flourish," James wrote in an article for HuffPost on Nov. 24.

He needn't have worried. The couple ended up receiving videos from over a dozen cast members, including Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine), O'Hurley (J Peterman), Knight (Newman), Larry Thomas (the Soup Nazi), Jerry Stiller (Frank Costanza), and Patrick Warburton (David Puddy). Others, like Michael Richards (Kramer) and Richard Herd (Mr. Wilhelm), planned to call Calder on his actual birthday.

"Some of the cast members not only made videos with great birthday messages but they were creative, thoughtful, and sincere," James wrote. "These wonderful people helped to honor and celebrate my father's birthday and provided a much-needed distraction during an extremely difficult time for my family. Their kindness and compassion has humbled us to our core."

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Calder's family had planned to wait to show him the videos from the cast, but ended up sharing them the day before he passed. "He was shocked and mystified about how we were able to reach the Seinfeld cast members," James recalled. "He really felt the love and support."

Watch some of the messages above, and see James' full story about the Seinfeld birthday project here.

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