Reni Santoni was an American actor in film, television, and voice. Santoni was born on 21 April 1939 in New York City. His ancestors were of Spanish (Corsican) and French descent. He started his career in the theater of Off-Broadway, writing the play Raisin’ Hell in the Son, which was premiered in 1962. He’s been noted on TV series Seinfeld for playing Poppie. In Dirty Harry he also played Chico González.
Reni Santoni Age
He was 81 years old.
Reni Santoni Career
Santoni’s first major movie role was an uncredited appearance in the 1964 movie The Pawnbroker (starring Rod Steiger), in which he played a junkie trying to sell a radio to the title character (using antisemitic slurs to no effect).
His first leading role was in entering Laughing as a young actor. In the 1971 film Dirty Harry, he continued to play Inspector “Chico” González. His character pronounced the unforgettable sentence, “No wonder they call him Dirty Harry; [he] always gets the shit end of the stick” Other film appearances included the satirical homage of Carl Reiner to the genre of film noir, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982), as of jail officer Ramon Herrera in Bad Boys (1983), and as detective Tony Gonzales in the action movie Cobra (1986). He has starred in Bel Air and Manimal’s short-lived show Sanchez where he played Nick Rivera.
Santoni has worked on TV shows such as Barnaby Jones, Lou Grant, Hawaii Five-O, Hardcastle and McCormick, Hill Street Blues, The Odd Couple, and Midnight Caller, among others. In 1973 Santoni played on Owen Marshall a junior partner: Law advisor. His most prominent later position was as “Poppie” (the bombastic, antiabortion, neurotic, and very unhygienic restaurateur in Seinfeld).
Reni Santoni Wife & Children
Santoni and Lisa James were married. He later had a romantic friendship with Betty Thomas. One son (Nick) survived him.
Reni Santoni Death Cause
On 1 August 2020, Santoni died at a Los Angeles hospice. He was 81, and in the years leading up to his death, suffered from multiple health issues including cancer.
Santoni’s close mate, TV producer Tracy Newman, has reported the news on Facebook. she said.
“He [Santoni] 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,”
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