'Seinfeld' Actor Reni Santoni Passed Away at 81

The actor playing unhygienic restaurant owner Poppie in the TV sitcom, who died on August 1, was remembered by TV writer and producer Tracy Newman as 'a terrific actor, improviser, performer.'

AceShowbiz - "Seinfeld" star Reni Santoni has died aged 81.

The actor passed away on August 1, according to his friend, TV writer and producer Tracy Newman.

Newman announced the news in a post on Facebook, revealing that her pal's death came after 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.," she added. "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."

Santoni began his career in off-Broadway theatre before making his first significant movie role in 1964's "The Pawnbroker". He went on to star in films such as "Dirty Harry", "Bad Boys" and "Cobra".

His most well-known role, however, was in the beloved TV sitcom "Seinfeld", where he starred as unhygienic restaurant owner Poppie.

He's survived by son Nick and his stage director wife Lisa James.

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