Seinfield actor Reni Santoni has died at the age of 81, it has been reported.
Santoni passed away on Saturday (August 1) in hospice care in Los Angeles following years of health issues including cancer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The New York City-born actor appeared opposite Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry (1971) as the detective Chico González, having secured his first major film role in 1967’s Enter Laughing.
Santoni later appeared in four episodes of Seinfield‘s fifth season (1994), playing Italian restaurant owner Poppie. He reprised his role for a guest appearance in the show’s finale in 1998.
Other TV credits include Miami Vice, Murder, She Wrote, Hill Street Blues and Moonlighting.
Among those to pay tribute on social media was director Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz). Filmmaker Steve Hughes, meanwhile, hailed Santoni as “a wonderful character actor”.
You can see those posts and more below.
Viva Inspector Chico Gonzales: “No wonder they call him "Dirty Harry", always gets the shit end of the stick.” RIP Reni Santoni. https://t.co/VbcDODOU6t
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) August 4, 2020
Another wonderful character actor gone. RIP Reni Santoni, 81, so good in Seinfeld, Dirty Harry, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Cobra, Private Parts. Godspeed and thank you. pic.twitter.com/QlhTjg2Yqe
— Steve Hughes (@moviegoblin) August 4, 2020
— Kevin Rozell (@Zellyanks) August 4, 2020
RIP Reni Santoni.
A bad few weeks for character actors 🙁 pic.twitter.com/6oGCN8V0Ym
— Thom Downie (@ThomDownie) August 3, 2020