John B. Santoianni, 45, a theatrical agent and poet
A memorial service for John Blaise Santoianni, a Village resident and a theatrical and literary agent who died July 15 at the age of 45, will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 8 at The Duke, 229 W. 42nd St.
John B. Santoianni came to New York City from Philadelphia after studying communications and journalism at Temple University and took an intensive chef-training program at New York Restaurant School in 1982. He worked as a prep cook and restaurant host in Manhattan restaurants and then at Lennox Hill Hospital coordinating nurses schedules, according to his friend Charmaine Ferenczi.
Santoianni began working as an actors agent at Honey Sanders Agency in 1983 and went on to work at Alan Willig Associates and Hesseltine Baker. In 1990 he began representing playwrights, screenwriters, directors and choreographers in theater, film and television, working for the past 14 years with Jack Tantleff at The Tantleff Office and then at Abrams Artists Agency.
John Santoianni was a beloved agent in the New York theatrical and film communities and was known for his keen wit, charisma and genial sensitivity, said Ferenczi. In recent years, he dedicated himself to his own writing and became a deeply gifted, imaginative and thoughtful poet, she said.
His mother, stepfather and a brother and a sister survive.
An annual poetry award in his memory, the John B. Santoianni Award for Excellence in Poetry, to be judged by his friends and colleagues, has been established and contributions to it may be made to the Academy of American Poets, 584 Broadway, Suite 604, New York, N.Y. 10012.