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Antonio Sabato Jr. was born on February 29th, 1972 in Rome, Italy. He was the son of noted Italian actor Antonio Sabato, who had made his film debut in John Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix. When Sabato Jr. was twelve, the family moved to the United States. It took some time for him to adjust, as he did not speak English at the time. Like his father, Sabato made his debut in a racing movie. 1988’s Born to Race was set to the backdrop of stock car racing in North Carolina. A driver falls in love with a beautiful Italian engineer. She has developed a revolutionary prototype engine, but is kidnapped by a rival team who want the design for themselves. Unfortunately for Sabato, this movie was nowhere near as good the classic in which his father had debuted. It bombed. After appearing in two Italian action movies (Karate Rock and Arizona Road) in 1990 and the video for Janet Jackson’s ‘Love Will Never Do (Without You)’, Sabato made his breakthrough in ‘General Hospital’. Shortly after he had joined the cast as John ‘Jagger’ Cates in 1992, the show jumped from seventh to third in the ratings for daytime series. Sabato quickly established himself as a leading heartthrob and sex symbol. This led to his casting in a made-for-TV movie, 1993’s Moment of Truth: Why My Daughter. The next year, he played Jack Parezi, Amanda’s long-lost abusive husband, for a season of ‘Melrose Place’. With his 1994 calendar quickly selling out and his contract as an underwear model for Calvin Klein, he had reached the pinnacle of male modelling. After finishing his run on ‘General Hospital’, Sabato tried to get away from his heartthrob image in ‘Earth 2’. The television show was set 200 years in the future, several generations after Earth was rendered uninhabitable. The remnants of the human race lived in a giant space station orbiting the Earth. Unfortunately, the lack of contact with proper air, soil, and sunlight was making many of the people ill. A group of non-conformists decided to abandon the station and colonise a habitable planet 22 light years away. After crashing onto the planet, the new colonist must attempt to survive while dealing with the newly discovered life forms on the planet. Sabato played Alonzo Solace, the pilot of the ship. Unlike most science fiction shows, the show concentrated more on character development than on action and special effects. This gave Sabato ample experience to hone his acting chops. Unfortunately, this also left the show with a small audience. After one season playing in competition with the popular news-show ’60 Minutes’, ‘Earth 2’ was cancelled because of low ratings. After this setback, Sabato acted in several made-for-TV movies. In Jailbreakers, a 1950’s cheerleader meets a biker. After a night out on the town, he steals an item of jewellery, for which he is thrown in jail. After breaking out, he attempts to track down the cheerleader. In 1995’s Her Hidden Truth, an eighteen-year-old girl is wrongfully convicted of killing her mother and sister. She breaks out of jail and tries to find the real killer. Sabato co-starred as the cop who tries to help her. Sabato’s other major made-for-TV movie from this period was If Looks Could Kill: From the Files of America’s Most Wanted. He played John Hawkins, the suave real-life con man/murderer who police chased around the world. Sabato returned to the big-screen in 1997 with High Voltage. He played a member of a gang of bank robbers. Unluckily, the bank that they robbed was actually a front for laundering drug money for the Korean market. This makes them a target of the mob. The movie co-starred Shannon Lee (son of Bruce) and Lochlyn Munro (‘Northwood’, Unforgiven, A Night at the Roxbury). This was also the first movie that Sabato Jr. made with his father, as well as his sister Simonne. The style of the movie was heavily influenced by Hong Kong director John Woo (Broken Arrow, Once a Thief). The next year, Sabato starred with Neal McDonough (Fire Down Below, Star Trek: First Contact, Angel's in the Outfield), in Circles. This independent movie portrayed two college students. Brian Miano (McDonough) is driven and determined to be successful in the ‘real world’. Jeremy Bonner (Sabato) main focus is on women and partying. Both of them go through massive changes, dangling on the edge of self-discovery or self-destruction. The movie debuted at the 1998 Newport Beach International Film Festival. Despite winning the Maverick Award, it was not picked up for general release. Much more successful was The Big Hit. This movie featured a star studded cast of Mark Wahlberg (Boogie Nights), Lou Diamond Phillips (La Bamba), Christina Applegate (‘Married With Children’) and Avery Brooks (Captain Sisko from Deep Space Nine). This is the story of a group of hitmen led by Melvin Smiley (Wahlberg). One of them, Cisco (Phillips) convinces them to go freelance and kidnap the daughter of a rich businessman. What they don’t know is that she is the goddaughter of their boss (Brooks). When Cisco realises this, he turns against them. All of this is works as an excuse to fill the movie with numerous gunfights, explosions, and car chases, as well as running gags about dead bodies and overdue movies. Sabato played Vince, one of the hitmen. He disappears about twenty minutes into the film then reappears near the end. There is no explanation given for this. The critics were able to overlook the plot-holes and the continuity problems, but faulted the movie for its clumsy blend of action and comedy. Financially, the movie was much more successful. In its first weekend, it drew in enough people to cover most of its $13 million budget. It eventually grossed $27 million. Sabato will appear in two shows on television this year. “Tribe” is a mini-series about a group of sailors who are attacked by pirates. They are then marooned on an island full of booby traps leftover from WWII. It will be shown in Australia. Fatal Error is a made-for-TV movie that will star Sabato, Janine Turner (Steel Magnolias, “Northern Exposure”, Cliffhanger), and Robert Wagner. Dr. Nick Barnes (Sabato) and disease specialist Samantha Craig (Turner) team up to find a cure for a virus that is killing people in Seattle. They discover that it was originally a computer virus that evolved into an organic virus. They must find the source before its widespread release. After recently completed his contract for Calvin Klein, Sabato appeared at an event for Durex condoms. He is currently raising one child, five year old Jack Antonio. The mother is Virginia Madsen, who played Princess Irulan in Dune. They were never married, and have since parted ways.
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Antonio Sabato Jr. 
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29 February, 1972 
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Rome, Italy  
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