Sylvester Stallone Reacts To Tragic Death

By April Ryder | Published

sylvester stallone

Burt Young, a dear friend of Sylvester Stallone, has died at the age of 83 (via THR). He played the role of Paulie in the Rocky movies and even received an Oscar nomination for supporting actor for his performance in the first Rocky film, released in 1976. 

Sylvester Stallone has shared a public tribute to his friend and Rocky co-star, Burt Young.

Stallone admired Young for many years after the two bonded over experiences they enjoyed during the filming of six different Rocky movies. On his personal Instagram, Sylvester Stallone even posted an homage to the late actor, addressing Burt Young as his “dear friend.” 

Young once told the press that he was on an MGM lot when Stallone approached him about playing the role of Paulie in the original Rocky movie. He said he really wanted the role as soon as he heard about it but didn’t want to seem too excited. 

He played it cool. However, Burt Young later talked about how he thought the script for the movie had the “cleanest street prose” he had ever encountered. He saw Stallone as a genius, and their friendship served him well as the years passed.  

Burt Young worked on screen for more than 40 years and played significant roles in over 90 films.

Burt Young lived a long life with an eventful career on screen and stage. He was born in Queens, New York, on April 30, 1940, under the name Gerald Tommaso DeLouise. His father was a blue-collar sheet metal worker who eventually became a high school shop class teacher, and his mother made dresses for a living. 

In high school, Burt Young was good at getting himself into trouble. In response, his father helped him join the U.S. Marines illegally before the age of 16 in hopes of giving the boy some discipline and direction for his life. 

Sylvester Stallone and Burt Young in Rocky

Burt’s boxing career began while he was in the service, winning 32 of his 34 fights in the two years he served. After the military, Young worked as a carpet cleaner, salesman, and installer before he began his studies at the Actors Studio alongside Lee Strasberg, who would eventually become an influential mentor to the star. 

Burt Young worked on screen for more than 40 years and played significant roles in over 90 films. He was a Hollywood staple, to say the least. As for television shows, Young has a role list just as long. He was a working man, for sure. 

Burt Young was a legitimate boxer, winning 32 of 34 fights during his time as a U.S. Marine.

Young often played a tough guy on screen, but fans can be sure that he lived the tough guy life in real life as well. The actor continued his love affair with boxing for many years after he began his acting career. He even fought in a promotional (for charity) exhibition match against Muhammad Ali, who later became a good friend of Burt Young. 

Some of Burt Young’s most memorable roles (besides his involvement in the Rocky movies) include Chinatown, Back to School, Mickey Blue Eyes, and Transamerica. In 1986, Burt made his on-stage debut on Broadway alongside Robert DeNiro in Cuba and His Teddy Bear

Young also had a passion for painting which he turned into a lucrative hobby, once receiving $66,000 for one of his works. He found painting to be a great alternative outlet (and moneymaker) without the censorship of directors and writers cutting through his creative displays.