Sylvester Stallone Biography

Sylvester Stallone is an actor, writer, director, producer. Born on July 6, 1946, in New York City. One of the most popular action stars of all time, Sylvester Stallone is best known for portraying two heroic characters on the big screen—boxer Rocky Balboa and Vietnam War veteran John Rambo. His trademark droopy visage was the result of a forceps accident at the time of his birth. A nerve was severed in the accident, which also left him with slurred speech.

Stallone had a difficult childhood. Both he and younger brother Frank were adversely affected by their parents’ hostile relationship, which later ended in divorce. Sylvester spent some time in foster care. He eventually ended up in Philadelphia, living with his mother and her second husband. There Stallone struggled emotionally and academically. After his expulsion from several schools, he attended a special high school for troubled youth.

After graduation, Stallone eventually went on to college. First, he attended the American College in Switzerland where he studied drama. Stallone then went to the University of Miami, again choosing to focus on the dramatic arts. He left school before completing his degree to go to New York City to pursue an acting career.

While he waited for his acting career to take off, Stallone worked all sorts of jobs to make ends meet. He cleaned up the lions’ cages at the Central Park Zoo, ushered at a movie theater, and even made an appearance in an adult film called A Party at Kitty and Studs (1970). A few uncredited parts in mainstream films, such as Woody Allen’s Bananas (1971) and Klute (1971), soon followed. He had a more substantial role playing a tough guy in the 1974 independent film The Lords of Flatbush with Henry Winkler and Perry King. Around this time, Stallone married Sasha Czack.

In addition to acting, Stallone had an interest in writing. He created a screenplay about a rough-and-tumble thug who struggles for a chance to make it as a professional boxer. According to several reports, Stallone refused to sell the script unless he was allowed to star in it. Despite having a pregnant wife and little money in the bank, he held out until he found two producers, Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, willing to let him play the lead.

Released in 1976, Rocky became a critical and commercial hit. The film earned ten Academy Award nominations, including two for Best Actor and one for Best Original Screenplay. Rocky faced stiff competition in the Best Picture category from such films as Taxi Driver, All the President’s Men, and Network. Proving to be the small film with a powerful punch, Rocky emerged victorious and won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The story of Rocky Balboa, the quintessential underdog, also struck a chord with movie-goers and earned the film more than $117 million at the box office.


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