Fans bid 'sad farewell' as Seinfeld and Dirty Harry actor Reni Santoni dies ...

Reni Santoni has died at the age of 81 after a long battle with sickness, his friend confirmed. According to People, Santoni died on Saturday morning while in hospice care in Los Angeles following years of health problems. Posting a moving tribute to the "terrific" actor on Facebook, confident and TV writer-producer Tracy Newman, shared her sadness at his passing.

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So brilliant. I loved him very much and will miss him terribly. Another great one is gone

Tracy Newman

The post read: “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.

She added: "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 had wracked up over 100 movie credits that are listed on his IMDb page, including roles in Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry where he appeared as Chico González, Doctor Dolittle alongside Eddie Murphy and as detective Tony Gonzales in Sylvester Stallone's Cobra.

But his acting career began back in off-Broadway theatre in his home town of New York City.

READ MORE: Mary Pat Gleason dead: A Cinderella Story and Mom actress dies aged 70

Reni Santoni dead: Fans bid a 'sad farewell as Dirty Harry actor dies aged 81Reni Santoni dead: Fans bid a 'sad farewell' to Dirty Harry actor who died aged 81 (Image: FACEBOOK•GETTY)

Reni Santoni's friend shared a moving tribute to confirm his passingReni Santoni's friend shared a moving tribute to confirm his passing (Image: FACEBOOK)

Reni Santoni played Poppie the pizza chef in SeinfeldReni Santoni played Poppie the pizza chef in Seinfeld (Image: NBC)

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