Sylvester Gardenzio "Sly" Stallone pronounce (/stəˈloʊn/; born July 6, 1946), is an Academy Award-nominated American actor, director, producer and screenwriter, filmmaker and occasional painter. One of the biggest box office draws in the world from the '70s to the '90s, Sylvester Stallone is an icon of machismo and Hollywood action heroism. He has played two characters who have become a part of the American cultural lexicon: Rocky Balboa.  Stallone is known for his machismo and Hollywood action roles. Two of the notable characters he has portrayed are boxer Rocky Balboa and soldier John Rambo. The Rocky and Rambo franchises, along with several other films, strengthened his reputation as an actor and his box office earnings.
Stallone's film Rocky was inducted into the National Film Registry as well as having its film props placed in the Smithsonian Museum. Stallone's use of the front entrance to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the Rocky series led the area to be nicknamed the Rocky Steps. Philadelphia has a statue of his Rocky character placed permanently near the museum, on the right side before the steps. It was announced on December 7, 2010 that Stallone was voted into boxing's International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Sylvester Stallone was born Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone in New York City, the elder son of Frank Stallone, Sr., a hairdresser, and Jackie Stallone (born Jacqueline Labofish), an astrologer, former dancer, and promoter of women's wrestling. His younger brother is actor and musician Frank Stallone. Stallone's father was born in Gioia del Colle, Apulia, Italy, and emigrated to the United States as a child. Stallone's mother is of half Russian-Jewish and half French-American descent.
Success with Rocky, 1976Edit
Stallone gained worldwide fame with his starring role in Rocky, which would become a critical and box-office smash hit (1976). On March 24, 1975, Stallone saw the Muhammad Ali–Chuck Wepner fight, which inspired the foundation idea of Rocky. That night Stallone went home, and after three days, 20 straight hours, he had written the script for Rocky, about a struggling club fighter, meat packing plant worker, and part time local muscle man for a low-level local mob loan shark who, by chance, gets offered a shot at facing the World Heavyweight Champion Apollo Creed (played by Carl Weathers) by the champion himself, and puts up an unexpectedly valiant effort in a loss by earining split decision, and an eventual rematch, which occurs in the 1979 sequel, Rocky II. After that, he tried to sell the script with the intention of playing the lead role. Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler in particular liked the script. Stallone was offered increasingly larger fees to sell the script and allow a different actor to star in the film, but he turned the offers down until the studio agreed to let Stallone himself play the role. Rocky was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including nominations for himself for the Academy Award for Best Actor and the Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay. The film went on to win the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Film Editing.
Rocky sequels, Rambo films, and more new film roles, 1978–1989Edit
Following the success of Rocky, Stallone made his directorial debut and starred in the 1978 film Paradise Alley, a family drama in which he played one of three brothers who enter the world of wrestling. That same year he starred in Norman Jewison's F.I.S.T., a social drama in which he plays a warehouse worker, very loosely modeled after the image of former teamster and International Brotherhood of Teamsters union boss Jimmy Hoffa, who becomes involved in the labor union leadership.
After starring in the critical and commercial disasters Oscar (1991) and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992) during the early 90s, he made a comeback in 1993 with the hit Cliffhanger, which was a success in the U.S., grossing $84 million, but even more successful worldwide, grossing $171 million, for a total over US$255 million. Later that year, he starred with Wesley Snipes in the futuristic action film Demolition Man, which grossed in excess of $158 million worldwide. His string of hits continued with 1994's The Specialist (over $170 million worldwide gross).
In 1995, he played the comic book-based title character Judge Dredd, which was taken from the British comic book 2000 AD in the film of the same name. His overseas box office appeal saved the domestic box office disappointment of Judge Dredd, which cost almost $100 million and barely made its budget back, with a worldwide tally of $113 million. He also appeared in the thriller Assassins (1995), with Julianne Moore and Antonio Banderas. In 1996, he starred in the disaster film Daylight, which was not very successful in the US, but grossed $126 million overseas.
Revisiting Rocky and Rambo, 2006–2008Edit
After a three year hiatus from films, Stallone made a comeback in 2006 with the sixth installment of his successful Rocky series, Rocky Balboa, which was a critical and commercial hit. After the critical and box office failure of the previous installment Rocky V, Stallone had decided to write, direct and star in a sixth installment which would be a more appropriate climax to the series. The total domestic box office came to $70.3 million (and $155.7 million worldwide). The budget of the movie was only $24 million. His performance in Rocky Balboa has been praised and garnered mostly positive reviews.
Stallone's fourth installment of his other successful movie franchise, Rambo, with the sequel being titled simply Rambo. The film opened in 2,751 theaters on January 25, 2008, grossing $6,490,000 on its opening day and $18,200,000 over its opening weekend. Its box office was $113,244,290 worldwide with a budget of $50 million.
Asked in February 2008 which of the icons he would rather be remembered for, Stallone said "it's a tough one, but Rocky is my first baby, so Rocky."
- ↑ Don't give up the day job... Sylvester Stallone tries his hand at fine art with mixed results, Daily Mail (UK), December 3, 2009, accessed August 15, 2012.
- ↑ Sylvester Stallone, hall of famer, Newsday article, December 7, 2010.
- ↑ "The Governator".
- ↑ Hollywood star is back on the big screen with latest outing for Rambo 10, February 20, 2008, Dean Leonnox for Evening Times, first accessed April 11, 2011.
- ↑ Video of Stallone visiting Italy, Youtube.com, first accessed September 4, 2010.
- ↑ "Cinéma. Stallone est de Brest « même » !", Le Télégramme de Brest, October 6, 2009.
- ↑ Rambo-ski – Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone's Russian secret, by Will Stewart for the Daily Mail (UK), London, England, April 11, 2009, first accessed April 11, 2009.
- ↑ The Rocky Story, by Sly Stallone
- ↑ Rocky Award Wins and Nominations, IMDb.com reference, accessed May 21, 2010.
- ↑ Rocky Balboa at Box Office Mojo, Boxofficemojo.com, first accessed September 4, 2010.
- ↑ Balboa at RottenTomatoes, dead link, September 2010
- ↑ Sylvester Stallone: Rambo Returns, video interview with STV, dead link, first appeared September 2010.