Stallone, Sylvester: Actor of New Rambo Chapter

Sylvester Stallone is the director, co-writer and star of the new actioner, “Rambo,” the fourth film in the popular series that began in 1982.

Stallone has established worldwide recognition as an actor, writer and director since he played the title role in his own screenplay of Rocky, which won the Oscar Award in 1976 for Best Picture.

Since that picture, Rocky grew to a franchise of five sequels and in 2006 Stallone concluded the series with Rocky Balboa, a critical and audience success which resolutely confirmed both Stallone and Rocky as iconic cultural symbols. In addition, to commemorate a character which has become as real as any living person to film-going audiences around the world, a statue of Rocky Balboa was placed at the foot of the now-famous steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum at a dedication ceremony presided over by the Mayor.

Born in New York City, Stallone attended school in suburban Philadelphia, where he first started acting and also became a star football player. He then spent two years instructing at the American College of Switzerland in Geneva.

Returning to the United States, he enrolled as a drama major at the University of Miami and also began to write. Stallone left college to pursue an acting career in New York City, but the jobs did not come easily. By 1973, Stallone had auditioned for almost every casting agent in New York and had gone on thousands of acting calls, with little success.

During this period, he turned more and more to writing, churning out numerous screenplays while waiting for his acting break. The opportunity first came in 1974 when he was cast as one of the leads in The Lords of Flatbush. He also received his first writing credit for “additional dialogue” on this film.

With the money earned from that film, Stallone left New York for Hollywood. He again began to make the rounds of studios and casting agents, managing to get a few small roles in television and movies. He also continued to pursue writing.

Prize fighter Rocky Balboa was born and given life in a script Stallone wrote in longhand. Several producers offered to buy the screenplay, wanting to cast a name star in the title role, which Stallone insisted on playing himself. Although his bank balance was barely $100, Stallone held fast with his perseverance finally paying off in a big way.

In addition to Rocky Balboa and Rambo, Stallone's credits as actor/writer/director are Rocky II and Paradise Alley. As actor and co-writer, Stallone filmed F.I.S.T., First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rhinestone and Rambo III. He co-wrote, directed and produced Staying Alive and starred in Nighthawks, Victory, Tango & Cash and Lock Up. Rocky V, starring and written by Stallone and directed by John Avildsen, opened in 1990.
He also starred in Demolition Man, which set box-office records for its Fall 1993 release and in the films The Specialist, Assassins and Daylight.

Stallone starred in the challenging and unique role of Freddy Heflin, in the Miramax feature film Copland, which has garnered him further international critical and audience acclaim.

Stallone wrote and starred in the number one box office race-car thriller Driven, co-starring Burt Reynolds and Christian de la Fuente.

Stallone also starred in the role of “The Toymaker” for director Robert Rodriguez in the hit film Spy Kids 3, the final installment of that successful film franchise.

Aside from filmmaking, Stallone also launched his own line of vitamin supplements and nutritional products under the Seriesse International health and skincare brand which he co-founded with his wife Jennifer.

Stallone is one of the founding partners in Planet Hollywood, the internationally famous chain of entertainment complexes which includes the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort and Casino.

In 2002, Stallone was honored by the Video Dealers Software Association when he was presented with the “Action Star of the Millennium Award,” at the Organization's 21st Annual Convention.