Born in: New York City
Education: Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA)
Career: Actor, director, producer and screenwriter
Sylvester Stallone is one of the most popular American actors, who achieved the heights of success from the '70s to the early '90s. Apart from acting, he has also been involved in direction, production as well as screenwriting. He is most known for playing the lead in two major series, ‘Rocky’ and ‘Rambo’, which have also made him an international icon of machismo. Such is the popularity of Sylvester Stallone in Philadelphia that a statue, of his Rocky character, has been placed permanently near the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as a cultural landmark. Apart from that, his film Rocky has been inducted into the National Film Registry and its props have been placed in the Smithsonian Museum.
Sylvester Stallone was born as ‘Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone’ on 6th July 1946, in New York City. He is the son of Jackie Stallone, an astrologer, former dancer and promoter of women's wrestling, and Frank Stallone, a hairdresser. At the time of his birth, his mother faced major complication, as a result of which, he suffered from partial paralysis of his face. This is the main reason for his slurred speech and drooping lower lip. Stallone spent his childhood in Northeast Philadelphia, attending Lincoln High School.
Later, he went to The Glenholme School, a private boarding school in Washington, Connecticut. Stallone studied at the American College of Switzerland (in Leysin) and the University of Miami (for three years) in the 1960s. Short of just a few credit hours of graduation, he dropped out of college and started pursuing an acting career. Later, in 1999, he was granted a Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) degree by the President of the University of Miami, after accepting his acting and life experiences as his remaining credits
The movie career of Sylvester Stallone started in 1970, with the film ‘Party at Kitty and Stud's’. The movie was later re-released as ‘Italian Stallion’, to cash in on the popularity of Stallone. He also starred as an extra in ‘Lovers and Other Strangers’ and as Jerry Savage in ‘No Place to Hide’, in 1970. For the next couple of years, he was seen in minor roles, in movies like ‘Klute’, ‘Bananas’, ‘The Lords of Flatbush’, ‘The Prisoner of Second Avenue’, ‘Farewell’, ‘My Lovely’, etc. He also did guest appearances for the TV series, ‘Police Story’ and ‘Kojak’.
Success, Success and Success
Sylvester Stallone tasted success for the first time with ‘Rocky’, released in 1976. The film not only won the Academy Award for Best Picture, but also served as Stallone’s stepping stone to success. He was nominated for an Academy Award, for the film, which also served as his writing debut. Three years later, Stallone came out with a sequel to Rocky, ‘Rocky II’, which he wrote, directed and also acted in. Meanwhile, he did a number of movies, including ‘Cannonball Mafioso’, ‘Paradise Alley’ and ‘F.I.S.T’ and received critical acclaim.
Before coming out with ‘Rocky III’, in 1982, he starred in ‘Escape to Victory’, ‘Nighthawks’ and ‘First Blood’. However, it was the third movie, ‘First Blood’, that later turned into a successful series and gave birth to John Rambo, a Vietnam veteran. In 1985, he came out with sequels of both his hit-series, ‘Rambo: First Blood Part II’ and ‘Rocky IV’. With these movies, Stallone not only became a favorite at home, but also received international recognition. His other action films, ‘Cobra’ (1986) and ‘Tango and Cash’ (1989), were also major successes.
The decade of ‘90s started with the fifth installment in the Rocky series, ‘Rocky V’ (1990). However, it turned out to be a major box-office failure. During the next couple of years, with films like ‘Oscar’, ‘Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot’, success evaded him. Stallone’s next triumph came with Cliffhanger (1993) and continued with ‘Demolition Man’ (1993) and ‘The Specialist’ (1994). During the rest of the decade, he did ‘Assassins’, ‘Judge Dredd’, ‘Daylight’, ‘Cop Land’, ‘The Good Life’, ‘Burn Hollywood Burn’ and ‘Antz ‘ (animation). His performance in ‘Cop Land’ won him ‘Stockholm International Film Festival Best Actor Award’.
The decade of 2000 started on a poor note with ‘Get Carter’, a commercial and critical failure. Stallone’s other movies, ‘Driven’ (2001), ‘Avenging Angelo’ (2002) and ‘D-Tox’ (2002), didn’t receive much success either. It was ‘Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over’, which catapulted him back to the top position. The cameo in ‘Shade’ (2003) also won him critical acclaim. In 2005, he co-presented ‘The Contender’, along with Sugar Ray Leonard. The sixth and the final installment of Rambo series, ‘Rocky Balboa’, was a critical as well as commercial success. His latest film, ‘Rambo’ (Jan 2008), the fourth Rambo installment, is also a big hit.
Sylvester Stallone married Sasha Czack in 1974, but the alliance came to an end 11 years later, in 1985. The same year, he got married to Brigitte Nielsen, but got divorced two years later. For the next couple of years, he remained a bachelor. However, he was romantically involved with a number of models, including Susan Anton, Angie Everhart, Naomi Campbell and Janice Dickinson. Stallone is currently living with Jennifer Flavin, whom he married in 1997. He has five children, two sons - Sage Moonblood and Seargeoh (with Czack) and three daughters - Sophia Rose, Sistine Rose and Scarlet Rose (with Flavin).
1970 - Party at Kitty and Stud's (Stud), Lovers and Other Strangers (Extra), No Place to Hide (Jerry Savage)
1971 - Klute (Extra), Bananas (Subway Thug #1)
1974 - The Lords of Flatbush (Stanley Rosiello) - Co-Writer
1975 - Farewell, My Lovely (Jonnie), Death Race 2000 (Machine Gun Joe Viterbo), Capone Frank (Nitti), The Prisoner of Second Avenue (Extra)
1976 - Rocky (Rocky Balboa) - Writer, Cannonball Mafioso (Cameo)
1978 - Paradise Alley (Cosmo Carboni) - Director and Writer, F.I.S.T (Johnny D. Kovak) - Writer
1979 - Rocky II (Rocky Balboa) - Director and Writer
1981 - Escape to Victory (Captain Robert Hatch), Nighthawks (Det. Sgt. Deke DaSilva)
1982 - First Blood (John J. Rambo) - Writer, Rocky III (Rocky Balboa) - Director and Writer
1983 - Staying Alive (Cameo) - Director, Producer and Writer
1984 - Rhinestone (Nick Martinelli) - Writer
1985 - Rocky IV (Rocky Balboa) - Director and Writer, Rambo: First Blood Part II (John J. Rambo) - Writer
1986 - Cobra Lieutenant (Marion 'Cobra' Cobretti) - Writer
1987 - Over the Top (Lincoln Hawk) - Writer
1988 - Rambo III (John J. Rambo) - Writer
1989 - Tango & Cash (Raymond 'Ray' Tango), Lock Up (Frank Leone)
1990 - Rocky V (Rocky Balboa) - Writer
1991 - Oscar (Angelo 'Snaps' Provolone)
1992 - Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (Sgt. Joe Bomowski)
1993 - Demolition Man (John Spartan), Cliffhanger (Gabe Walker) - Writer
1994 - The Specialist (Ray Quick)
1995 - Assassins (Robert Rath), Judge Dredd (Judge Joseph Dredd)
1996 - Daylight (Kit Latura)
1997 - Cop Land (Sheriff Freddy Heflin), The Good Life (not released)
1998 - An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (Cameo), Antz (Weaver Voice)
2000 - Get Carter (Jack Carter)
2001 - Driven (Joe Tanto) - Writer
2002 - D-Tox (FBI Agent Jake Malloy), Avenging Angelo (Frankie Delano)
2003 - Taxi 3 (Cameo). Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (The Toymaker)
2004 - Shade (Dean 'The Dean' Stevens)
2006 - Rocky Balboa (Rocky Balboa) - Director and Writer
2008 - Rambo (John J. Rambo) - Director and Writer