Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Enzio Stallone ( born Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone on July 6, 1946) is an actor, screenwriter, director, and producer from the United States. He gained his first critical praise as an actor for his co-starring part as Stanley Rosiello in The Lords of Flatbush after laboring as a struggling actor for many years after coming to New York City in 1969 than Hollywood in 1974. Starting in 1976 with his role as boxer Rocky Balboa in the first film of the successful Rocky series, for which he also wrote the screenplays, Stallone gradually found work as an extra or side character in cinema with a large budget until he achieved his most significant critical and commercial success as an actor and screenwriter. Rocky is portrayed as an underdog boxer who defeats multiple severe opponents and wins the world heavyweight championship twice.

Related Biography: John Miles

Background and Early Life

Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone was born in New York City's Hell's Kitchen area on July 6, 1946, the eldest son of a hairdresser and beautician, Francesco "Frank" Stallone Sr., and Jacqueline "Jackie" Stallone, an astrologer, dancer, and promoter of women's wrestling. His Italian father was born in Gioia del Colle, Italy. He immigrated to the United States in the 1930s, while his American mother is of French (from Brittany) and Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. Frank Stallone, his younger brother, is an actor and musician.

Due to complications in Stallone's mother's labor, his obstetricians were obliged to use two pairs of forceps during his birth; nevertheless, the use of these forceps accidentally cut a nerve, paralyzing sections of Stallone's face.

As a result of the injury, the lower left side of his face (including sections of his lip, tongue, and chin) is paralyzed, giving him his trademark snarling expression and slurred speech. As a result of being bullied as a child, he learned to cope through weightlifting and acting.

He was a devout Catholic who was baptized.

In the early 1950s, his father relocated the family to Washington, D.C., to operate a beauty school. Barbella's, his mother's women's gym, was established in 1954. Before attending Miami Dade College, Stallone attended Notre Dame Academy, Lincoln High School in Philadelphia, and Charlotte Hall Military Academy. He studied at the American College of Switzerland for two years, from September 1965 to June 1967, before returning to the United States to study drama at the University of Miami from 1967 to 1969. He went by the stage name Mike Stallone until 1969, and then he went by the stage name Sylvester E. Stallone in 1970.


In 1970, he was cast in his first soft-core pornography film, "The Party at Kitty and Stud's." Stallone claimed later in life that he made the movie out of desperation because he needed the money. In the same year, he starred in the film "Rebel," which catapulted him to national prominence.

In 1971, he also starred in the off-Broadway play "Score," which lasted for 23 performances. Radley Metzger later adapted the story into a film. He also appears in Woody Allen's film "Bananas" and the thriller "Klute."

He appeared in the Jack Lemmon picture "The Prisoner of Second Avenue" in 1975, and he also appeared in the films "Farewell, My Lovely," "Capone," and "Death Race 2000."

Stallone's first breakout picture, 'Rocky,' an action-drama feature for which he also created the script, brought him much promise and hope in 1976. The film is widely regarded as one of his most commercially successful to date.

He made his directorial debut in 1978 with the picture "Paradise Alley" after swooning over the popularity of "Rocky." He also appeared in the film 'F.I.S.T.,' which is based on the life of James Hoffa.

In 1979, he developed and acted in the sequel to "Rocky" "Rocky II," a sleeper hit. He starred in the films "Escape to Victory" and "Nighthawks" two years later.

Following the popularity of 'Rocky,' he featured in another action picture, 'First Blood,' in 1982, playing Vietnam War veteran 'John Rambo.' This went on to be a critical and financial success at the box office. However, the film's sequels, 'Rambo: First Blood Part II' and 'Rambo III,' were not as well received.

In 1982, he continued the 'Rocky' series with 'Rocky III,' followed by 'Rocky IV three years later.' He worked out and began a rigorous training regimen to do complete honor to the job, and as a result, he became a well-known fitness icon.

In 1987, he chose to branch out from his "tough nut" roles and starred in "Over the Top," a film not in his usual genre. The picture, however, did not perform well at the box office and was critically panned. Two years later, he acted in Tango and Cash's hit film, set in a different genre.

In 1990, he starred in 'Rocky V,' the fifth edition of the 'Rocky' series. The film was supposed to be the final installment in the saga, but it bombed. He attempted his hand at humor during the next two years but failed terribly in films like "Oscar" and "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot."

He starred in the critically acclaimed' Cliffhanger,' which restored his fans' faith in his acting ability. He also starred in the futuristic film 'Demolition Man' that same year.

He starred in a spate of successful movies from 1994 to 1996, including "The Specialist," "Judge Dredd," and "Assassins."

In 1997, he starred alongside Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta in the low-budget film "Cop Land," a mediocre box-office success. The following year, he provided the voice for the animated blockbuster 'Antz.'

He appeared in the films 'Get Carter,' 'Driven,' 'Avenging Angel,' 'D-Tox,' 'Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over,' 'Taxi 3', and 'Shade' between 2000 and 2005. He was also a co-host for the boxing series "The Contender" in 2005.

In 2005, he took a break from acting to host and advise contestants on "The Contender."

After taking a sabbatical from acting, he returned to Hollywood in 2006 with the sixth Rocky picture, "Rocky Balboa," a critical sleeper smash. Two years later, he launched the fourth installment of the 'Rambo' series, titled 'Rambo' series. This film was also a box office triumph.

In 2009, he made a cameo appearance in the Bollywood film "Kambakkht Ishq," alongside Kareena Kapoor and Akshay Kumar. The following year, he starred in one of the year's biggest box office hits, "The Expendables."

The sequel to the film, titled "The Expendables 2," was released in 2012. He starred in the action picture 'Bullet to the Head' the following year, based on the novel 'Du Plomb Dans la Tete.'

Personal Life

Sylvester Stallone is a three-time married man. In 1974, he married Sasha Czack, with whom he has two kids. After over a decade of marriage, the couple divorced.

On December 15, 1985, he married Brigitte Nielsen, but they divorced two years later in 1987.

He married Jennifer Flavin in 1997, and they have three daughters together.

He has had numerous injuries over his career due to the demanding nature of his parts, including a fractured neck that necessitated the insertion of a metal plate.

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Last Modified: Feb 19 2023
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