Actor Antonio Sabato Sr. Dies at 77 After Coronavirus Related Complications
By Movieguide® Staff
Antonio Sabato Sr., an Italian American actor known for his roles in GRAND PRIX and ESCAPE FROM THE BRONX, died on Jan. 10 due to COVID-19 related complications. He was 77.
Antonio Sabato Jr., son of Antonio Sabato Sr. and fellow actor, confirmed his father’s death through an Instagram caption and a collage of photos.
“This morning our Papa’ Antonio Sabato, Sr. sadly passed away peacefully,” Sabato Jr. wrote on Instagram. “His many years as a successful actor and screenwriter both in Italy and the United States were his artistic passion. He had so many interests including boating the islands surrounding Italy, Formula 1 racing, culinary cooking, and many more.”
Sabato Jr. continued: “His generosity was ever-present, and his sense of humor and personality could fill a room. However, nothing was more important to him or held his attention more than his love for his children and grandchildren Jack Antonio, Mina Bree and Antonio III. Our hearts are broken today, we will miss him dearly, and we send our love with him. We love you Papa, and we will see you again.”
Sabato Jr. had announced his father’s hospitalization in California on Jan. 4.
“My papa/dad is in intensive care with COVID19 in California,” Sabato Jr. wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “Lord keep him surrounded by angels and pure God’s love and strength within.”
The elder Sabato 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, Sabato immigrated to the U.S. 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.
Sabato Sr. is survived by his daughter Simonne, three grandchildren, and his son.
MOVIEGUIDE® recently reported on Sabato Jr.’s plan to start a conservative movie studio:
Actor Antonio Sabato Jr. recently announced plans for a conservative movie studio.
“We are putting together a plan to create a conservative movie studio for all patriots to do projects that Hollywood would never do,” he wrote in a recent tweet. “No more blacklisting and no more injustice from the socialist’s elites.”
According to the 48-year-old Sabato, Hollywood blacklisted him due to his political affiliations, which spurred him on to create a movie studio that pursues projects Hollywood avoids, regardless of the political climate.