Poppie in ‘Seinfeld’, Reni Santoni’s Death at 81

Reni Santoni’s death is confirmed at 81. The prolific character actor partnered with Clint Eastwood in “Dirty Harry” and Sylvester Stallone in “Cobra,” and who portrayed Poppie the pizza chef in “Seinfeld”.

Reni Santon’s death is confirmed at 81.
Yahoo News Malaysia

Santoni died in hospice Saturday after a long illness, TV writer and producer Tracy Newman said of her longtime friend. According to a Facebook post published by Tracy Newman, Santoni died on Saturday morning. He had been “sick for quite a while.”

The New York City native Santoni starred in 1971’s “Dirty Harry” as rookie detective and college sociology major Chico Martinez who gets paired up with Eastwood’s “Dirty” Harry Callahan. The cop collaboration came despite Callahan’s objections (“Just what I needed, a college boy”).

Santoni presented the memorable line about his violent partner, “No wonder they call him ‘Dirty Harry,’ (he) always gets the (expletive) end of the stick.”

Director Edgar Wright paid tribute to the line and character on Twitter, writing “RIP Reni Santoni.”

Reni Santoni’s death who played Poppie in ‘Seinfeld’

“Those of you who knew him know how funny he was, what a terrific actor, improviser, performer, etc.,” the post read over Reni Santoni’s death.

“So brilliant. I loved him very much and will miss him terribly. Another great one is gone. I have a lot of wonderful pictures of him and will post them over the next week. My heart goes out to his son, Nick, who has been such a comfort to Reni over that past five years or more.”

Reiner and Santoni worked together again in 1982’s “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid,” which starred Steve Martin.

Santoni made appearances as Sgt. John Castle on “Hardcastle and McCormick” and Lt. Rivera on “Manimal,” along with police show guest star roles in “Hawaii Five-O,” “Hill Street Blues,” “NYPD Blue” and “Miami Vice.”

Reni Santoni’s biography

Born in New York City in 1939, Santoni started his profession in theater before securing his first uncredited film role in Sidney Lumet’s The Pawnbroker.

In 1967, he landed a key role in Carl Reiner’s directorial debut Enter Laughing; Reiner passed away in June this year.

His film characters also included Inspector “Chico” González in Dirty Harry, Reiner’s Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, 1983 pic Bad Boys, and the Sylvester Stallone-starring action pic Cobra.

He also made various guest appearances on TV shows such as Hawaii Five-O and Hill Street Blues, before landing the role of Poppie in four episodes of Seinfeld.

Santoni is survived by his son Nick and wife Lisa James.

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