Sylvester Stallone Biography

Sylvester Stallone is one of the most popular action heroes around the world. He is renowned for playing two classic characters namely Rocky Balboa, a boxer, and John Rambo, a veteran of Vietnam War.

Sylvester Stallone was born in NYC on 6 July 1946. He came to limelight with his stellar performance in a movie called Rocky in 1976 that was also written by him. Rocky received Academy Award and it catapulted Sylvester to the position of top action star of the world. His character of Rocky Balboa became so popular that Sylvester repeated it in many sequels of Rocky and First Blood in 1982. Stallone faced failure in the middle part of his career with several of his films but made a successful comeback with diverse roles in movies like The Expendables and later for his performance in the movie called Creed. He repeated his old Rocky avatar in Creed and went on to win a Golden Globe and also a nomination for the Academy Award.

The early years
Born on 6 July 1946, Sylvester Stallone is a very popular action hero, producer, director, and writer. He is remembered by his fans for his portrayal of two unforgettable characters namely Rocky Balboa and John Rambo. He became known for his droopy accent that was not made up and actually a result of his forceps birth that lead to damage of a nerve in his brain. Stallone also had a slurry speech that was loved by his fans.

As a child, Sylvester suffered a lot as his parents had a hostile relationship. They divorced after some time and Sylvester had to live under foster care for some time. He later went to live with his mother and his stepfather in Philadelphia and continued to suffer mentally. He was expelled from a few schools and had to be admitted to a special; school that was meant for troubled children. After completing his High School, Sylvester took admission in a college in Switzerland. He studied drama there and continued with his interest in University of Miami during his graduation course. He went to NY to become an actor, leaving studies in the middle.

Struggle to become an actor
It was Sylvester’s dream to make it big in the tinsel town. To realize his dream, he never hesitated to take on all sorts of jobs. He undertook cleaning of cages of lions inside Central Park Zoo, worked as an escort at a movie theater and even worked in an adult movie to make ends meet. This movie titled The Party at Kitty and Stud’s was released in 1970. Stallone also got to play small, single appearance roles in movies like Bananas and Klute, both in 1971. He got a meatier role in The Lords of Flatbush in 1974 and worked alongside actors like Perry King and Henry Winkler. This was the year Stallone married, with Sasha Czack.

Besides acting, Sylvester also loved to write. He wrote a script about a thug who aspires to become a great boxer. Sylvester showed this script to many people but said that he would sell it only when he was made a hero in the film. Even though he was struggling to make ends meet and had a pregnant wife at home, Sylvester stuck to his condition and did not sell his script until he got an assurance from the producer that he would be given a chance to play the lead role. These were Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler who agreed to make Stallone a hero in their movie based upon his script.

Iconic action hero
The movie Rocky was released in 1976. Its director was John G. Avildsen and it became a huge hit at the box office. It also won critical acclaim besides winning no less than 10 nominations for Academy Awards. These included awards in categories of best actor, best picture, and best director. There were some powerful movies in contention for best picture award. These were Taxi Driver, Network, and All the President’s Men. But Rocky beat these pictures despite having a small budget and being a small movie. People loved the concept of an underdog fin ally winning, beating all odds in life. Rocky earned $117 million at the box office, which was impressive considering it was made in a low budget.

To build upon the success of Rocky Balboa, another movie called F.I.S.T was made that had Sylvester portraying the character of a labor organizer. This film, released in 1978, could not repeat the magic of Rocky even though critics liked it. Sylvester decided to repeat the character of Rocky and made Rocky II in 1979. Audiences loved him in the character of Rocky once again and this prompted Sylvester to appear once again as Rocky in the 2nd sequel called Rocky III in 1982.

Sylvester realized the need to present himself in a new character and appeared as a Vietnam War veteran John Rambo in the movie called First Blood in 1982. Rambo is so frustrated with the behavior of the authorities that he declares war against the police in the end in this movie. This movie was a blockbuster hit like Rocky and the audiences simply loved the character of Rambo. His next project was not as an actor but as a writer and director as he made Staying Alive with John Travolta. This movie did not do well at the box office even though it had Travolta repeating his character from Saturday Night Fever.

To answer his critics who said that he cannot act, Sylvester worked opposite Dolly Parton in his next movie called Rhinestone in 1984. This film was a disaster at the box office, forcing Sylvester to continue working in movies that were action packed and where he played rough and tough characters. These included Rocky IV in 1985, Rambo: First Blood part II, Rambo III and finally Rocky V. Sylvester was also seen in movies like Oscar (1991) which was a comedy, and Demolition Man, which was action thriller. In latter Sylvester worked alongside Sandra Bullock and Wesley Snipes.

Downslide in career
Sylvester Stallone’s popularity as the topmost action hero began to fade by the time it was mid 90’s. During this time, Stallone worked in some really forgettable movies like Daylight and Judge Dread. To get rid of action hero image, Stallone did a supporting role in Cop Land, a drama movie in 1997. He worked alongside actors like Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, and Harvey Keitel in this movie. Stallone received positive reviews from fans and critics for his performance in this movie in which he was seen as a sheriff in a town in New Jersey where lots of cops from NY live.

Stallone was back to being the hero in a movie when he worked in Get Carter, a crime thriller. This movie, released in 2000, received mixed reactions from the crowd. Stallone next wrote and produced a movie in which he also acted. This was a racing thriller drama called Driven released in 2001. The movie earned $32 million, much less than what his hot movies like Rocky and First Blood earned at the box office. He worked in one m ore movie called Shade in 2004 but nobody even noticed it.

Sylvester was back to something that he knew like the back of his hand when he wrote the Plot of Rocky Balboa in 2006. This was a story that in many ways mirrored his own career. The story revolves around a retired heavyweight boxing champion who decides to make a comeback and win the title once again. Stallone remembers that about a decade ago, he was having a lot of free time as there was no work. It was then that he started to write the plot of this movie. He maintains that he would not have written this movie had he been successful and churning out hit movies. The idea of this film where an aging Rocky Balboa makes a comeback appealed to the fans of his movie Rocky and they drove in large numbers to see this movie. The movie turned out to be a big hit at the box office and earned $70 million across theaters inside the country. It also earned another $85 million with sales worldwide.

Next, Stallone turned his attention to another of his super hit avatar Rambo. He not only played the lead role but also took the responsibility of writing and directing the movie called Rambo, released in 2008. The movie depicted a lot of violence and gore but still managed to earn more than $42 million at the theaters as fans lapped up their favorite character of Rambo.

Stallone got a chance to act alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis, the other top guns from the world of action in The Expendables in 2010. Of these three super stars were not enough, the star cast also included MMA fighter Randy Couture and Jet Li, another martial arts expert. The icing on the cake was the fact that the movie was written and directed by Stallone himself.

Behind the camera
For years, Sylvester Stallone face criticism and taunts from experts who said that he is a very bad actor. Finally, Stallone started to get recognition for his work as he was given Cesar Award, the French equivalent of an Oscar, in the year 1982. Five years later, Stallone received another award for his acting in Stockholm Film Festival. He was the proud recipient of a Golden Globe that was given to him during Zurich Film Festival. In 2012, Stallone receive a lifetime achievement award at Hollywood Film Awards.

Sylvester Stallone has married three times in his life and his current wife happens to be Jennifer Flavin, a former model. Stallone is father of two sons Seth and Sage who were born from his 2nd marriage with Sasha Czack. Tragedy struck Stallone on 13 July 2012 when his elder son Sage died at a young age of 36. He was an actor, producer and director and his dead body was found inside his home in Los Angeles. He had made an appearance alongside his father in movies like Daylight and Rocky V. A month later, Stallone first talked about his son’s death in a television program called Good Morning America. He said that it was a big loss and the whole family was shocked. But it was necessary for him to accept it as a reality of life and move on as only time could heal the pain that he suffered.

Getting Golden Globe and receiving Oscar nomination for Creed
The stars of The Expendables reunited to work on The Expendables 2. The movie, which was released in August 2012, went on to become a blockbuster hit as it earned $28 million at the box office in the very first weekend. It took Stallone only 2 more years to release the 2nd sequel, The Expendables 3 in the year 2014. The cast became even bigger and heavier with the addition of Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford. This film failed to create the magic of the earlier two parts even though ticket sales were fabulous.

2013 proved to be a very busy year for Stallone. He appeared in Escape Plan in which he acted alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and also Grudge Match, a comedy movie in which he acted along with Robert De Niro. In 2015, Stallone again tried to reprise his old avatar of Rocky Balboa in a movie titled Creed. He is seen training his son (played by Michael B Jordan) to take on arch rival Apollo. Public loved the concept of this movie and Stallone went on to receive a Golden Globe for his performance as an aging boxer. Only a few days later, Stallone received a nomination for his role in Creed, making Rocky Balboa the first movie character to received Oscar nominations twice.

Tags: USA, Actor, 1940-1949