Antonio Sabáto Sr., an Italian American actor recognized for his roles in “Grand Prix” and “Escape From the Bronx,” died Sunday on account of COVID-19 issues. He was 77.“His many years as a successful actor and screenwriter both in Italy and the United States were his artistic passion,” his son, actor-model Antonio Sabato Jr., mentioned on Instagram Sunday.More from VarietySabato Jr., had tweeted Jan. four that Sabáto was hospitalized in California as a result of coronavirus, posting a quick prayer for his father with the tweet. “My papa/dad is in intensive care with covid in California,” he mentioned. “Lord keep him surrounded by angels and pure God’s love and strength within.” The youthful Sabáto has been a vocal critic on social media of the usage of masks to manage the unfold of coronavirus.The elder Sabáto received his begin within the leisure trade in 1966 when he appeared within the Italian movie “Lo scandalo.” That similar 12 months he starred in “Grand Prix,” an American movie with a global solid of actors helming the mission. The film went on to win three Academy awards.Throughout the subsequent twenty years, the actor continued to star in a slew of Italian movies, from the spaghetti Western “One Dollar Too Many” to science fiction tasks like “War of the Robots” — and nearly any style in between.In the mid 1980s, Sabáto immigrated to the U.S. together with his household, persevering with his profession in movies like 1997’s “High Voltage.” His final credit score as an actor got here within the tv collection “The Bold and the Beautiful,” during which he appeared in seven episodes in 2006.In addition to his son, Sabáto is survived by a daughter, Simonne and three grandchildren.Clarification: Antonio Sabato Jr. had earlier appeared to announce his father’s dying on Twitter, however the tweet was deleted. Sabato Sr. died Sunday, Jan. 10.Best of VarietyJoin Variety’s Newsletter. For the most recent information, observe us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.