|First appearance||"The Routine" (episode 1.01)|
|Last appearance||"A Day in the Death..." (episode 6.06) (Spirit)|
|Reason/Cause||Murdered by Johnny Post|
|Date of Conviction||December 12, 1996|
|Date of Death||July 12, 1997|
|Affiliations||The Italians & The Mafia|
|Spouse||Jeanie Ortolani (Widow)|
|Relatives|| Paolo Ortolani (Father)|
Maria Ortolani (Mother)
Nino Schibetta (Uncle, deceased)
Angie Schibetta (Aunt, deceased)
Peter Schibetta (Cousin, deceased)
|Episode Count||3 Episodes|
|Portrayed by||Jon Seda|
- "Being popular has never been a big concern of mine."
- ―Dino Ortolani[src]
Ortolani is a member of the Italians in Em City, and a made man in the Mafia. He initially appears as the sponsor of Oz's true protagonist — Tobias Beecher. Beecher's story line isn't covered as much in the pilot, so it isn't completely clear that he is the protagonist in the beginning. Ortolani receives significantly more screen time in the final segment of the episode, which leads the viewer to believe that Ortolani is the main character.
Ortolani is actually the main antagonist of Ryan O'Reily in the pilot. As seen in Ortolani's crime flashback, he is sent to murder O'Reily, who is the leader of a rival gang to the Mafia. Ortolani's trouble making downward spiral in Oz helps his nemesis O'Reily gain the upper hand on him, which results in his demise at the end of the pilot.
Ortolani, a short tempered man, runs the kitchen for Italian mob boss, Nino Schibetta. He dislikes the black inmates unconcerned with the fact that they constitute the majority of the kitchen staff. He is disliked by most staff and inmates but is somewhat admired by Vernon Schillinger (the feeling is not mutual). When Ortolani learns that Ryan O'Reily is alive and coming to Oz, he schemes to have his old enemy killed.
Ortolani nearly kills gay inmate, Billie Keane, who makes a pass at him in the showers. This enrages Billie's brother, Jefferson, the leader of the Homeboys gang, who plots to have Ortolani killed in retaliation.
Tim McManus lets Ortolani know that every prisoner and guard in Oz either hates him or is scared of him (or both), something he does not seem to mind. So, as punishment for beating up Billie he sends him to work in the AIDS ward, hoping to teach him a lesson in tolerance. While he serves time in the AIDS ward, Ortolani develops an infatuation for Dr. Gloria Nathan.
Although Ortolani is initially appalled by the AIDS patients, he begins to like one of them, Emilio Sanchez. Sanchez eventually asks Ortolani to help him die and end his suffering. Ortolani doesn't agree immediately, but returns later to do as Sanchez asked him. He disconnects Sanchez from his life support and smothers him.
McManus and Nathan throw him into Ad Seg and have him sedated. Keane then gives the order to Johnny Post and O'Reily to kill him. O'Reily uses his connections to allow Post entry to the hole, and Post then pours flammable liquid onto the sedated and restrained Ortolani and sets him on fire, burning him to death.
Ortolani is portrayed as a callous temperamental bigot seething with hatred and anger, but he occasionally revealed some positive characteristics. Throughout the episode, Ortolani is seen to feel some admiration for new inmate Kareem Said, whom he watches during his lectures to the Muslim inmates. And just before he is about to smother Sanchez, Ortolani tells Said, "It's too bad you're of the wrong color," before taking off. It is suggested by Rebadow during his interrogation with Lenny Burrano that God told him that Dino Ortolani wanted to kill himself for being in prison for the rest of his life, away from his wife and kids. By smothering Sanchez and allowing himself to be placed in the hole, he knew this would happen.
- A Day in the Death... (Spirit)
Kill Count Edit
- Unnamed Man: Shot to death. (1996)
- Emilio Sanchez: Suffocated to death. (1997)