Francesco Quinn, an Italian-born actor and a son of Oscar winner Anthony Quinn, died Friday night of an apparent heart attack near his home in the La Costa neighborhood of Malibu. He was 48.
Fireball Tim Lawrence, a Malibu Patch blogger who knew Quinn as a neighbor and from the entertainment industry, said the actor had been running up the street with his son Max, when he fell in front of Lawrence's home. Lawrence and Quinn's wife Valentina Castellani-Quinn attempted to revive him.
"There was a moment where we thought that we were making progress, that we started to sense that this could work," Lawrence said. "We were working feverishly at it. But at a certain point it turned, and there was no response."
Lawrence said he believes Quinn died in his wife's arms.
Paramedics arrived from Los Angeles County Fire Department Station No. 70 in less than five minutes, Lawrence said. Valentina commended them for getting there so quickly. They also attempted to revive Quinn, and at one point felt a faint pulse. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Quinn was born March 22, 1963, in Rome, Italy, to Anthony Quinn's second wife, Iolanda. His acting career began in 1986 with a role in the Oscar-winning Oliver Stone film Platoon. He went on to appear in numerous films and television shows, including playing Tomas Del Cerro in the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless. For that role, Quinn was nominated for an American Latino Media Arts Award, which recognizes people who portray positive representations of Latinos.
"Francesco was my soul mate and the best father for Sofia, Michela and Max," Valentina said. "I will love him forever."
Lawrence said, "Francesco was the epitome of passion in the arts. He was a kind, gentle soul that genuinely loved people. He'll be sadly missed."
Quinn had a foundation called Francesco Quinn Legacy 2011. A statement from Quinn on the foundation's Facebook page appears at the bottom of this article.
Quinn had three children: Sofia and twins Max and Michela. He and his first wife Julie McCann remained good friends.
Message from Quinn on his foundation's Facebook page
I was born into a profession in which my love of words, chosen with care for their meaning and nuance, was extremely important, not only to me, but also to the people with whom I worked with.
What I'd like to pass on to my children is the thirst for knowledge. It's something I experience every day that I learned from my father. He always taught me that no matter how long you've done something, you can always learn something new and be better at what you do. That thirst and that desire is something I'd like to pass on to all those whom I can have an influence.
I learned from an early age that my heritage, my love for people, and my desire to be a vehicle that can be used through my voice, that my expressions and actions can transport a person to experience a scene from the past, present and future.
My hope and desire is to continue to let myself be clearly known, and to continue to bring my legacy to you through my life, my family and my actions.