Italian-American actor Antonio Sabato stars in the film ‘Grand Prix’, April 1966 (Image: Getty Images)

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Grand Prix actor Antonio Sabato Sr has passed away aged 77 with coronavirus, his grieving son says.

The Italian-American actor tested positive for the Covid-19 virus earlier this month, with family confirming that he had passed away following his diagnosis.

Antonio's son, 48-year-old Antonio Sabato Jr., took to Twitter to confirm the sad news on Wednesday January 6, sharing a throwback photograph of his father.

Antonio Jr. had written the words "Ciao Papa" before sharing the image along with the words: "Always & forver. In Jesus's name," along with red heart emojis.

Antonio Sabato Sr.'s devastated son, Antonio Jr., confirmed the actor's sad passing last week
(Image: Getty Images)

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Earlier in the week, the younger actor had begged his Twitter followers to "please say a prayer for [his] father" – who had been battling COVID-19 at an Intensive Care facility in California.

Antonio was best known for his roles in Escape From The Bronx and Grand Prix – which led to him being nominated for a Golden Globe award in 1967.

The actor was born and raised in Montelepre, Italy, in 1943 – and emigrated to the USA in 1985, settling in California.

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He married real estate agent Yvonne Kabouchy with whom he welcomed his son, Antonia, and a daughter named Simonne.

While the actor reportedly has three other from other relationships and his marriage to Yvonne had ended by 1997 when she remarried an American businessman.

Antonio Sr. had 43 acting credits spanning four decades with his debut in the 1966 Italian drama Lo Scandalo.

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His most recent credits were playing a character named Aldo Damiano in iconic American soap The Bold and the Beautiful – which he played over seven episodes in 2006.

His son was also an actor on the soap – playing a character named Dante Damiano between 2005 and 2006.