Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sylvester Stallone: Rocky, Rambo

Sylvester Stallone (born July 8, 1946) is a two-time Academy Award-nominated American actor, director, producer and screenwriter. He achieved his greatest successes in a number of action films, notably the Rocky and Rambo series.

Early life
Stallone was born in Hell’s Kitchen, New York. His mother, Jacqueline “Jackie” Labofish was an astrologer; his father, Frank Stallone, Sr., was an immigrant from Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily. One of his maternal great-grandmothers, Rosa Rabinovich, was from Odessa, Ukraine.In the 1960s, Stallone attended the American College of Switzerland, Leysin and the University of Miami for three years. He came within a few credit hours of graduation, before he decided to drop out and pursue an acting career. After Stallone’s request that his acting and life experiences be accepted in exchange for his remaining credits, he was granted a Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) degree by the President of the University of Miami in 1999.
Early film roles 1970-1975
Party at Kitty and Stud’s is a 1970 pornographic film. It has the distinction of being Sylvester Stallone’s first film. He was paid US$200 for two days work. Originally released as hardcore pornography, scenes of sexual penetration were edited out on later releases of the film designed to cash in on Stallone’s fame. These releases were re-packaged under the names of Italian Stallion (taken from Stallone’s nickname and a line from the film) and Cocky (a spoof of Rocky). Stallone’s other first few film roles were minor, and included brief uncredited appearances in Woody Allen’s Bananas (1971) as a subway thug, in the psychological thriller Klute (1971) as an extra dancing in a club, and in the Jack Lemmon vehicle Prisoner of 2nd Avenue (1975) as a youth. In the Lemmon film, Jack Lemmon chases and tackles Stallone, thinking he is a pickpocket. He had his first starring role in the cult hit The Lords of Flatbush (1974). In 1975 he appeared in supporting roles in Farewell, My Lovely, Capone, and another cult hit Death Race 2000. He also made guest appearances on the TV series Police Story and Kojak.
Success with Rocky and stardom 1976-1979
Sylvester Stallone: footprints and hands stamped at Hollywood walkthrough
Stallone did not gain world-wide fame until his starring role in the smash hit Rocky (1976). The film was awarded the 1976 Academy Award for Best Picture. On March 24, 1975, Stallone saw the Ali-Chuck Wepner fight which inspired the foundation idea of Rocky. That night Stallone went home, and in three days he had written the script for Rocky. 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 (which was suggested by Stallone after a casting), and planned on courting a star like Burt Reynolds or James Caan for the lead role. The final result was an unequalled success; Rocky was nominated for ten Academy Awards in all, including two for Stallone himself, for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay. In addition to winning Best Picture, Rocky won for Best Director and Best Film Editing. Rocky cost about US$1.1 million to make, and grossed about US$225 million worldwide. The sequel Rocky II was released in 1979 and also became a major success, grossing US$200 million worldwide. The Rocky series has made the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art a Philadelphia tourist attraction. On the list of the top heroes of all time by American Film Institute (AFI) in 2003, Stallone is listed seventh as Rocky Balboa behind Gregory Peck (Atticus Finch), Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones), Sean Connery (James Bond), Humphrey Bogart (Rick Blaine), Gary Cooper (Will Kane) and Jodie Foster (Clarice Starling).
Rocky, Rambo and new film roles 1979-1989
Apart from the Rocky films, Stallone did many other films in the late 1970s and early 1980s with mixed success. He received critical praise for films such as F.I.S.T (1978), a drama in which he plays a warehouse worker, who becomes involved in the labor union leadership, Paradise Alley (1978), a family drama in which he plays a con-artist of three brothers and he along with his other brother try to help the one involved in wrestling and Escape to Victory (1981), a sports drama in which he plays a prisoner of war involved in a Nazi propaganda football tournament. Stallone then made the thriller film Nighthawks (1981), in which he plays a New York city cop who plays a cat and mouse game with a foreign terrorist, played by Rutger Hauer. These movies were well received, but they did not have box office success.
Personal life
Other famous members in Stallone’s family are his brother, actor/singer Frank Stallone and his mother, Jacqueline Stallone, who achieved notoriety in the middle 1990s as an astrologer. At the time of ownership, Stallone’s pet Bullmastiff, Butkus, appeared in the first Rocky film as an often-teased favorite pet of Balboa’s who lived in Adrian’s pet shop. Also Half-Brother: Dante Stallone born in 1997; son of Frank Stallone Sr and his fourth wife. Half-Sister: Toni-Ann Dialto,mother, Jacqueline Stallone.
Stallone has been married three times, to Sasha Czack (1974–1985), Brigitte Nielsen (1985–1987), and Jennifer Flavin (1997–present). He has five children, sons Sage Moonblood and Seargeoh, who is autistic (with Czack, born 1976 and 1979 respectively), and daughters Sophia Rose, Sistine Rose and Scarlett Rose (with Flavin, born 1996, 1998, 2002 respectively). He and Flavin, an Irish-American, were married at Winston Churchill’s birthplace, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England.
In addition to these marriages, he has had romantic relationships with models Susan Anton, Angie Everhart, Naomi Campbell and Janice Dickinson. Dickinson once believed that Stallone was the father of her daughter Savannah.
Growth hormone controversy
On February 16, 2007, Stallone flew into Sydney, New South Wales as part of his promotional tour Rocky Balboa. Upon landing he was searched by Australian Customs officials, who found 48 vials of the human growth hormone (HGH) Jintropin in his personal luggage. As a result of this, he was charged one count of importing a prohibited import. The hormones are banned under the Australian Customs Act, are not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and are not a recognised treatment for any medical condition. In a court hearing on May 15, 2007, he pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing a controlled substance. On May 21st 2007 he was formally convicted of importing restricted muscle-building hormones into Australia and ordered to pay more than $9,870 in fines and court costs. As a result of the controversy within Australia, Stallone banned the Australian media from attending the Los Angeles premiere of the film.
In a typed apology from Stallone, delivered to the court on May 15, Stallone said: “I made a terrible mistake. Not because I was attempting to deceive anyone but I was simply ignorant of your official rules and I wish to sincerely apologise to the court and the Australian community for my breach of Australian customs law. … I have never supported the use of illegal drugs or engaged in any illegal activities in my entire life. …I wish to express my deepest remorse and again apologise for my actions.”
Films starring Sylvester Stallone
• No Place to Hide (1970)
• The Lords of Flatbush (1974)
• Farewell, My Lovely (1975)
• Death Race 2000 (1975)
• Capone film (1975)
• Rocky (1976)
Paradise Alley (1978)
• F.I.S.T. (1978)
• Rocky II (1979)
• Victory (1981)
• Nighthawks (1981)
• First Blood (1982)
• Rocky III (1982)
• Rocky IV (1985)
• Tango & Cash (1989)
• Rocky V (1990)
• Oscar (1991)
• Cliffhanger (1993)
• Daylight (1996)
Cop Land (1997)
• Antz (1998)
• Shade (2003)
• Rocky Balboa (2006)
• John Rambo (2008)
• Poe (2008)

Sylvester Stallone – The Rambo

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