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By Steve McGarry
Oct 13, 2013
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Steve McGarry

Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone was born in New York on July 6, 1946, he attended The American College of Switzerland and the University of Miami before pursuing an acting career.  Following his debut in an adult movie, he landed small roles in the likes of 1971's "Klute" and "Bananas,"  moving on to featured roles in "the Lords of Flatbush," opposite Henry Winkler, and "Death Race 2000."  But the parts were few and far between, and he found himself taking roles in such TV fare as "Kojak" and "Police Story."

Struggling to break through as an actor, he was also not making headway as a screenwriter until, inspired by the 1975 heavyweight title fight between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner, he penned "Rocky" in just three days.

Despite having just $106 in the bank and a baby on the way, he held out for the lead in his own project. "Rocky" grossed $225 million worldwide, earned 10 Oscar nominations and made him a superstar.  The movie spawned a series of hit sequels, as did 1982's "First Blood,"  which introduced the loner action hero John Rambo.

By the mid-1990s, Sly's asking price was a whopping $20 million per movie!  Although he continue in the action movie vein with the likes of "Judge Dredd," "Demolition Man" and "assassins," Sly also softened his image by starring in the comedy "Stop! or My Mom Will Shoot," and lending his voice to the animated hit "Antz."  He earned great critical acclaim for his work in "Cop Land," a role for which he gained 40 lbs.  But he couldn't repeat the success of his two legendary roles - which may explain why, at the age of 60, he pulled on the gloves once more for 2006's "Rocky Balboa," and two years later, returned as "Rambo."

Released in 2010, "The Expendables" was a big success.  Co-written and directed by Stallone, who led a stellar cast of action stars, it spawned a hit sequel, with another in the works for 2014.  In his latest outing, "Escape Plan," he teams up with Arnold Schwarzenegger and later this year Sly will star with Robert de Niro in "Grudge Match."
Oct 27, 2013
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