Antonio Sabáto Sr., an Italian American actor known for his roles in Grand Prix and Escape From the Bronx, died this week due to COVID-19 complications. He was 77.
The news of Sabáto’s death was confirmed in a since-deleted tweet by his son, actor and model Antonio Sabáto Jr., who also posted an old family photo. He shared the news on January 6, with a message saying “Always and forever.”
His son said on January 4 that Sabáto was hospitalised in California due to the coronavirus, posting a brief prayer for his father with the tweet. “My papa/dad is in intensive care with covid in California,” he said. “Lord keep him surrounded by angels and pure God’s love and strength within.” The younger Sabáto has been a vocal critic on social media of the use of masks to control the spread of coronavirus.
The elder Sabáto got his start in the entertainment industry in 1966 when he appeared in the Italian film Lo scandalo. That same year he starred in Grand Prix, an American film with an international cast of actors helming the project. The movie went on to win three Academy awards.
Throughout the next two decades, the actor continued to star in a slew of Italian films, from the spaghetti western One Dollar Too Many to science fiction projects like War of the Robots — and virtually any genre in between.
In the mid-1980s, Sabáto immigrated to the US with his family, continuing his career in films like 1997’s High Voltage. His last credit as an actor came in the television series The Bold and the Beautiful, in which he appeared in seven episodes in 2006.
In addition to his son, Sabáto is survived by a daughter, Simonne.
Clarification: Antonio Sabato Jr. had earlier appeared to announce his father’s death on Twitter, but the tweet was deleted. Sabato Sr. died Sunday, January 10.
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