An icon of windswept, torrid romance novel covers, bread spread that definitely isn't butter, and cologne that's not just for your dad will be in Oklahoma City soon, sharing his passion for nutrition and love of animals.
Fabio Lanzoni, the actor, model and spokesman known simply as Fabio, will make special appearances from 1 to 7 p.m. June 15 at Saks Fifth Avenue, 7650 W Reno, and 1 to 7 p.m. June 16 at Whole Foods, 6001 N Western Ave.
He will be promoting two of his passions: the importance of spaying and neutering pets; and the value of nutrition in disease prevention and healthy lifestyle.
The Saks Fifth Avenue event is to raise awareness and support for Spayfirst!, an organization founded by Ruth Steinberger, of Bristow, that helps start low-cost spay and neuter clinics across the country. Fabio said supporting the organization was a natural for him because he is a major animal lover.
According to Spay First!, fewer than 50 percent of homes in Oklahoma earning under $35,000 per year have their pets spayed or neutered.
As a result, overpopulation in shelters often leads to euthanasia, the single leading cause of death of dogs and cats.
“Unfortunately, there are too many beautiful dogs in shelters, and the problem is overpopulation, you know?” Fabio said.
A single male and female dog and their puppies can produce thousands of puppies in 6 years, Spay First! reports.
As a child in Italy, Fabio said his family always had multiple dogs as pets. Throughout his life, Fabio has taken special interest in several breeds. He started with boxers, then fell in love with German shepherds, then Great Danes, and now Fabio has five Rottweilers, all rescued from shelters.
“To me, today the only time you can really have unconditional love is from animals,” he said with his sultry Italian accent in a recent phone interview. “And especially from dogs.”
Single ladies: Fabio said his dogs are like his children and he is looking for a potential mother for his kids. He's 52, loves fitness and motorcycles (in 2008 he had 200 bikes) and said he's open to Oklahoma girls.
“You're not going to find a mother in Los Angeles,” he joked. “The women here (in L.A.) are a different breed.”
A signature look
His signature long, dark blond hair and chiseled good looks have changed little since he first started modeling for Versace, The Gap, GQ and, of course, the novel covers that captured the hearts of millions of American women in the 1980s.
Fabio remembers the first time he saw one of these novels. He was in a club in Miami. A group of girls approached him and said he looked exactly like the guy on the cover of the book they'd been reading.
“I was like, ‘Hey, there's a great pick up line, I never heard that one,'” he said.
The girls ran home and brought the book back to the club.
“Yeah, that's me,” he said, surprised at how the cover artists had embellished his image by painting elaborate backgrounds.
“I thought, ‘Wow, that's weird,' I was just taking pictures, you know, with girls. I never thought...”
After that, Fabio found himself gracing the covers of more than 400 novels, on which he represented all kinds of romantic and adventure characters including Vikings, pirates and Tarzan.
He became the face of an entire genre of fiction.
Fabio said he doesn't take anything too seriously. You can see his sense of tongue-in-cheek humor in the many commercials he's starred in as a spokesman for Old Spice. He will always be quoted “I can't believe it's not butter” as he said in countless ads for the buttery spread of the same name.
And throughout his career, Fabio has racked up a slew of movie and TV credits. He will head to Virginia at the end of June, he said, to shoot a part in a new movie.
Fabio is still high energy and says that his line of whey protein, glutamine and colostrum dietary supplements are partly to thank for his good health.
Regular use of his whey protein supplements can significantly raise the quality of your life and your pet's life, Fabio said. Healthy Planet Nutrition is for humans, MVP K9 is for dogs. Both will be available at his upcoming appearances.
And, he adds, if you spay or neuter your pet, it is less likely to develop cancer.
“I believe in prevention. Let me tell you, if more people would eat and exercise like me, three-quarters of the doctors around the world would be out of business,” Fabio said.
Fabio has always been health conscious. As even a child in Italy, Fabio said he barely ate any carbs, including pasta and sweets, two of Italy's dietary staples.
Fabio didn't taste his first marinara until he was about 14, he said.
Instead, it was protein in its purest form and healthy foods in their natural states that Fabio craved, he said.
The whey protein he touts as nearly a miracle cure in his Healthy Planet Nutrition supplements is derived from the milk of pampered, antibiotic- and GMO-free, grass-fed cows from Australia and New Zealand.
Fabio can extol the virtues of his all-natural health products like a scientist but he insists good health is pretty simple.
“It's amazing because it's not really that complicated,” he said.
“Keep your body hydrated, give it the highest quality protein, eat healthy food and give your body a variety of food, and your body will take care of you.”
To me, today the only time you can really have unconditional love is from animals. And especially from dogs.”