‘Seinfeld’ and ‘Dirty Harry’ Star Reni Santoni Dies at 81

by Jeremy Spirogis
Harry Guardin, Reni Santoni, Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry

Seinfeld and Dirty Harry actor Reni Santoni has handed away on the age of 81. The actor was in all probability finest identified for his performances as Poppie and Chico González within the two exhibits, respectively. However, he additionally appeared in quite a lot of different tv exhibits, together with Hawaii Five-O, Hardcastle and McCormick, The Odd Couple, and others. Here’s a glance again at Santoni’s time in Seinfeld and Dirty Harry.

Reni Santoni’s function in ‘Dirty Harry’

Harry Guardin, Reni Santoni, Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry
Harry Guardin, Reni Santoni, and Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry | FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives by way of Getty Images

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Prior to Dirty Harry, Reni Santoni discovered his first huge break showing in The Pawnbroker, during which he performed an anti-Semitic man trying to promote a radio. He then appeared in Enter Laughing, earlier than lastly being picked up for Don Siegel’s Dirty Harry

Santoni labored alongside Clint Eastwood for the movie. His function as Chico González noticed him working immediately with Eastwood as Dirty Harry’s rookie associate — chosen to work with Harry in opposition to Harry’s needs. 

Santoni’s function within the iconic movie landed him reward, and he’s extensively remembered for delivering the road, “No wonder they call him Dirty Harry; [he] always gets the sh*t end of the stick.”

After wrapping up his time as a Hollywood actor, Santoni, a New Yorker, started engaged on off-Broadway exhibits, together with his personal play, Raisin’ Hell within the Son

He performed Poppie in ‘Seinfeld’

Jerry Seinfeld, Reni Santoni as Poppie, and Suzanne Snyder as Audrey in SeinfeldJerry Seinfeld, Reni Santoni as Poppie, and Suzanne Snyder as Audrey in Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld, Reni Santoni as Poppie, and Suzanne Snyder as Audrey in Seinfeld | J. Delvalle/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal by way of Getty Images

While nobody can deny that Reni Santoni’s function as Chico González was a defining second for the actor, Dirty Harry is way from the one main look Santoni made. In truth, he had a repeating character on Larry David’s Seinfeld

Seinfeld has a large forged of typically neurotic and weird characters who maintain quite a lot of alienating or intense beliefs, and Santoni’s function as Poppie match that invoice completely. 

Poppie, the Italian pizza chef, was an unhygienic pro-life activist whose restaurant was shut down after Seinfeld witnessed him making a pizza with out washing his arms after utilizing the lavatory. 

In a later episode, Poppie will get right into a heated argument with Elaine about abortion, prompted by Jerry. After the battle, Santoni’s character is rushed to the hospital. Poppie later returns to Seinfeld’s home, and winds up unknowingly peeing on his sofa. 

This turned one thing of a repeat gag when Poppie winds up peeing on George Costanza’s sofa as properly. 

Reni Santoni dies at 81 

Reni Santoni and Elaine May in Enter LaughingReni Santoni and Elaine May in Enter Laughing
Reni Santoni and Elaine May in Enter Laughing| FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives by way of Getty Images

Reni Santoni handed away from pure causes on August 1, 2020. His passing was famous by tv author and producer, Tracy Newman, a detailed friend of Santoni’s. 

Newman wrote on Facebook, “Reni Santoni passed away yesterday morning. April 21, 1939-August 1, 2020. He had been sick for quite a while. Those of you who knew him know how funny he was, what a terrific actor, improviser, performer, etc. 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.”

Clint Eastwood posted a photograph of the 2 collectively on the set of Dirty Harry to commemorate the actor following his dying. 

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