Reni Santoni has died.
The 'Seinfeld' star - who played restaurateur Poppie in the US sitcom - has sadly passed away aged 81 after being ill "for quite a while", his friend, TV writer and producer Tracy Newman, has confirmed.
She 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. (sic)"
Reni's first leading movie role came on 1967 comedy 'Enter Laughing' alongside Jose Ferrer and Shelley Winters, and he went on to star opposite Clint Eastwood in 1971 action film 'Dirty Harry'.
He portrayed Inspector Chico Gonzalez in the motion picture.
Reni landed other roles of authority in future projects, such as playing a prison official, Ramon Herrera, in 1983's 'Bad Boys' - opposite Sean Penn - and he starred as Detective Tony Gonzales in 1986 action movie 'Cobra'.
He also appeared alongside Sandra Bullock in the 2000 movie '28 Days', and his final film role came in 2009 independent 'Irene in Time'.
As well as his big screen portrayals, the late star appeared in numerous TV shows, including 'Hawaii Five-O' and 'Hill Street Blues'.