He rode a bicycle to work from Sherman Oaks to CBS Hollywood. Francesco Quinn also rode motorcycles and Vespas. In fact, he loved motorcycles so much, he designed them. One was named in his honor, appropriately called “The Quinn.”
In a city where status is everything, the actor was not affected from family wealth (his dad was infamous actor, Anthony Quinn) or the money he earned.
Born in Rome, Francesco was a jock who lived “La Dolce Vita” and was the salt of the earth. He was the type of guy who would offer you his seat and/or hold the door open. He spoke four languages fluently: French, Spanish, Italian and English.
We first met when he was working on The Young and the Restless. He wanted to do the interview outside, as opposed to his dressing room or the famed commissary. His role: Tomas del Cerro. My assignment: USA Today.
Ten years passed before we would meet again. In February, we ran into each other at Roger Neal’s Ultimate Beauty Oscar Suite at L’Ermitage. Francesco introduced me to his wife, Valentina Castellani-Quinn. He looked healthy and seemed very happy about a mutual project. At the end of August, he was planning to attend the musical and semi formal, The Real Love, at the Pasadena Civic, produced by Neal.
Sadly, the actor died of an apparent heart attack while playing with his young son Max near their home in Malibu. He was 48.
It doesn’t seem fair. His career was at its peak with a meaty role in PBS’s Masterpiece Mystery and a recurring guest role on The Glades. He had just wrapped Roma Nuda and was in pre-production of Buttermilk Sky. His voice was heard in Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
The actor was first noticed in the film Platoon. He shared the screen three times with his dad, including The Old Man and the Sea. His credits include 24, Jag, NCIS, The Shield, Criminal Minds, ER, Crossing Jordan, Alias and Miami Vice.
From his 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.
Francesco leaves a beautiful legacy, but he was just getting started!
Sue Facter runs a news agency that specializes in the luxury lifestyle brand. Her work has appeared in “USA Today,” “TV Guide,” “Los Angeles Times,” broadcast and the web.