“That’s what Rocky (1976) is all about: pride, reputation, and not being another bum in the neighborhood.” Sylvester Stallone
At one time, one of Hollywood’s highest paid actors, Sylvester Stallone gained worldwide fame as a writer and a star after the release of Rocky (1976, wrote, starred in), which nabbed The Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Film Editing. Due to his significant work, Stallone netted a David di Donatello Prize and earned two nominations at the Oscars. Stallone is also well-remembered for his portrayal of Vietnam veteran John Rambo in First Blood (1981), Rambo and its sequels (1985, 1988). In 1997, he gained praise for playing Freddy Heflin in James Mangold’s independent film Cop Land (1997), where he took home a Stockholm Film Festival Award. His film credits include the Rocky sequels (1979, 1982, 1985, 1990), the hit Cliffhanger (1993, also co-wrote), Demolition Man (1993), The Specialist (1994), the sci-fi action Judge Dredd (1995), Assassins (1995), Daylight (1996), The Good Life (1997), the animated film Antz (1998), Get Carter (2000, opposite Rachael Leigh Cook), Driven (2001, with Burt Reynolds), D-Tox (2002), Martyn Burke’s Avenging Angelo (2002), and Shade (2003).
In almost three and a half decades of acting, Stallone has received such awards as a Hasty Pudding Theatrical Award, an Academy of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Award, a People's Choice Award, as well as 10 Razzie Awards, including one for Worst Actor for his performances in Rhinestone (1984), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Rocky IV (1985), Rambo III (1988), Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992), Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003), and the Worst Screenplay in Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), the Worst Director for Rocky IV (1985), the Worst Screen Couple in The Specialist (1994), as well as Worst Actor of the Decade (1980s) and Worst Actor of the Century (2000).
Off screen, Stallone was named one of twelve “Promising New Actors of 1976” in John Willis’ Screen World, Vol. 28, and listed as one of American film Institute’s “The Top Heroes of all Time” in 2003. He worked with Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Keith Barish and Robert Earl to co-found Planet Hollywood, an international chain of Hollywood-themed restaurants filled with memorabilia and merchandise, in 1991. On May 10, 2005, Stallone published his book “Sly Moves: My Proven Program to Lose Weight, Build Strength, Gain Will Power, and Live Your Dream.”
As for his private life, Stallone has been married three times. He married first wife Sasha Czack in 1974, but the couple divorced after an 11-year marriage. He next married actress/model Brigitte Nielsen. Unfortunately, his second marriage also ended in divorce in 1987. Stallone is now the husband of actress/model Jennifer Flavin, whom he married in 1997. He is also the father of four: sons Seargeoh (born in 1979, mother Czack) and Sage Stallone (mother Czack), and daughters Sophia Rose (born on August 27, 1996, mother Flavin) and Sistine Rose (born on June 27, 1998, mother Flavin). In addition to his three marriages, Stallone was briefly engaged to model Angie Everhart.
Childhood and Family:
In New York’s Hell’s Kitchen district, Sylvester Enzio Stallone was born on July 6, 1946. His father is Frank Stallone Sr., an Italian immigrant hairdresser, and his mother is Jacqueline “Jackie” Labofish, an American clairvoyant of 1/4 Russian Jewish descent. Stallone also has one brother, an actor and a singer named Frank Stallone.
Stallone’s childhood was marked by loneliness and mockery. Due to his parents’ troubled marriage, he was sent to live in foster houses at a very young age. His friends taunted the little boy because of his Looney Tunes associated name and his facial features (curved eye, drooping lower lip and slurred speech caused by a pincers accident that severed a facial nerve during birth). 5-year-old Stallone returned to live with his family in Maryland until his parents divorced when he was 10. Following the separation, he relocated with his mom and his stepfather to Philadelphia.
In his adolescent years, Sylvester Stallone, who carried the nicknames Sly, Italian Stallion, and Michael (as a teenager), was frequently discarded from schools due to behavioral problems. He was eventually accepted in a private school for bothered students, and was even named “Most Likely to End Up in the Electric Chair” by his peers. Stallone attended a beauty school and next spent two years teaching children of career diplomats and young royalty at the American College of Switzerland, in Geneva. Arriving back in the States, he attended the University of Miami, where he majored in drama, but left his studies to pursue acting.
Stallone has been married three times. At age 28, on December 28, 1974, he tied the knot with Sasha Czack, but they divorced in 1995. He and his former wife of 11 years have two sons, Seargeoh (born in 1979) and Sage Stallone. The same year his divorce finalized, he married model/actress Brigitte Nielsen on December 15, 1985, in Beverly Hills, California. Unfortunately, his second marriage only lasted two years. In May of 1997, Stallone married Jennifer Flavin, with whom he shares two daughters, Sophia Rose (born on August 27, 1996) and Sistine Rose (born on June 27, 1998).
New York City-born actor Sylvester Stallone first discovered acting while he was a student at a school in suburban Philadelphia. He went on to develop a knack for it at the American College in Switzerland by joining drama studies. After receiving praise for a performance in “Death of a Salesman,” Stallone fully realized that his true calling was acting. He soon made his way back to the United States and started pursuing his dream by majoring in drama at the University of Miami. After only two years of study, Stallone dropped out of collage and headed for New York to pursue a career in acting.
The aspiring actor kicked off his film career in 1970 when he received a casting call to play the small role of Stud in the soft-porn flick The Party at Kitty and Stud's, and continued to pick up small roles in films like Lovers and Other Strangers (1970), Woody Allen’s Bananas (1971) and Klute (1971). After two years vanishing from film, he moved to Los Angeles and scored a starring role opposite Perry King in the cult hit The Lords of Flatbush (1974). In the drama, Stallone also received his first writing credit for “additional dialogue.” He landed another major role in No Place to Hide (1975), had a short-lived performance in the Jack Lemmon vehicle The Prisoner Of Second Avenue (1975), as well as was featured in the movies Capone (1975), the offbeat hit Death Race 2000 (1975), Farewell, My Lovely (1975) and Cannonball (1976).
Stallone’s big breakthrough eventually arrived when he took matters into his own hands and wrote Rocky (1976). With Stallone as the star, the action film became an immediate hit and garnered critical raves from many critics. Rocky netted Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Film Editing. As for Stallone, the film handed him a 1976 David di Donatello Prize for Best Foreign Actor, and earned him Oscar nominations for Best Actor and for Best Original Screenplay. Following the massive success, Stallone was launched to stardom.
After his directorial debut Paradise Alley (1978), Stallone reprised his acclaimed role of Rocky Balboa for its sequel Rocky II (1979), in which he also served as a director. The same year Stallone was back for Rocky III (1982), he played the coveted role of John Rambo in First Blood (1982). In the following year, he added producer to his accomplishment lists with Staying Alive. Unfortunately, Stallone was panned by critics for his performance in the 1984 Rhinestone, in which he nabbed a first Razzie for Worst Actor.
Stallone had another victory in his hands in 1985 when he returned to portray Rambo for the sequel Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985). The film was also a box-office smash hit, providing proof that Stallone was back in the saddle again. In 1986, he was awarded a Man of the Year Award at the Hasty Pudding Theatricals and took home a People's Choice for Favorite Motion Picture Actor.
On the other hand, film critics panned his acting quality. Stallone took home a 1986 Razzie for his performances in Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) and Rocky IV (1985). Moreover, he picked up another Razzie for Worst Director in Rocky IV, and three years later, won a 1989 Razzie for his work in Rambo III (1988). Things got even worse when Stallone was named “Worst Actor of the Decade” (1980s) at the Razzies.
Besides Rambo and Rocky, Stallone could also be seen in Cobra (1986), the wrestling movie Over the Top (1987), Lock Up (1989) and Tango & Cash (1989, co-wrote and directed). In 1990, Stallone rejoined original director John V Avildsen for the fourth installment Rocky V (1990), in which he managed to serve as an actor and a scripter.
Already popular among action fans as Rocky and Rambo, Stallone ventured into the comedy genre in the early 1990s. He started with the John Landis-directed Oscar (1991) and then the 1992 Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. However, his efforts met with failures at the box office. The latter even garnered the actor a Razzie for Worst Actor in 1993. Learning from the disappointments, Stallone soon returned to his action roots with the 1993 Cliffhanger (also co-wrote). The film was a hit and was followed by other hits, including Demolition Man (1993), the pyrotechnical thriller The Specialist (1994, won a Razzie for Worst Screen Couple with Sharon Stone), the sci-fi action Judge Dredd (1995) and Assassins (1995). Due to his continuing success, Stallone became the highest paid actor in Hollywood.
After Daylight (1996) and The Good Life (1997), Stallone turned the heads of film critics for the challenging and convincing role of Freddy Heflin in James Mangold’s modestly budgeted independent film Cop Land (1997, opposite Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel). Due to his bright acting, he netted a Stockholm Film Festival for Best Actor. Additionally, Stallone was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Films that same year. Stallone also provided the voice for Weaver, the soldier ant buddy to Woody Allen’s Z, in the successful animated film Antz (1998).
The pendulum swung in the new millennium when the actor was handed a Razzie for Worst Actor of the Century. This, however, did not put an end to Stallone’s film career. He kept busy with a number of film projects which included having the title character in the remake of Get Carter (2000, opposite Rachael Leigh Cook), headlining the Renny Harlin-directed Driven (2001, with Burt Reynolds), starring as alcoholic FBI agent Jake Malloy in D-Tox (2002), playing the lead role Frankie Delano in Martyn Burke’s Avenging Angelo (2002), making a cameo appearance in Taxi 3 (2003) and joining Melanie Griffith and Gabriel Byrne in Shade (2003). Stallone won a tenth Razzie for his portrayal of the villain toymaker in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003).
Stallone will reprise his role as gun-toting John Rambo in the forthcoming Rambo IV (2006). This latest sequel will see the character of Rambo living a calm, isolated life in the United States. But when a girl goes missing, he's forced to dump his dormant lifestyle and take justice into his own hands. Rambo IV will be produced by Millennium Film’s Avi Lerner, Boaz Davidson and Emmett/Furla Film’s Randall Emmett and George Furla, along with Kevin King, and will be executive produced by Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short, John Thompson, Andreas Thiesmeyer, Joseph Lautenschlager and Gerd Koechlin. Additionally, Stallone is also scheduled to return for the sixth installment of the Rocky saga in 2006, opposite Boxer Antonio Tarver.