Sylvester Stallone, an American actor, screenwriter and director, was born on July 6, 1946. He was born in New York and his full name is Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone. As can be deduced from his surname, Stallone is of Italian descent.
His father, Frank Stallone, was a native Italian from Apulia who immigrated to the United States as a teenager and worked as a hairdresser, and his mother was an astrologer of German-French descent. Sylvester acquired his characteristic facial appearance and voice during a difficult birth – they had to pull him out with forceps, damaging the nerve in his face. Although no film critic would rank him among the greats of the movie screen, Stallone became a real hit among a wider audience, and his films earned fabulous amounts of money.
His parents divorced when he was 9 years old, and then he stayed to live with his mother. He did poorly in school, but still managed to enroll in college in Miami and later in Switzerland. He began his film career in 1969 with small roles in various films, including the erotic film The Party at Kitty and Stud’s, also known as The Italian Stallion. Most of the roles in those years were small and insignificant, except for the role of the manic driver Machine Gun Joe Viterbo in the cult film Death Race 2000.
Stallone, however, wanted to be not only an actor but also a screenwriter. Furthermore, he lived on the edge of poverty and wanted to secure his existence by creating a film hit. Driven by his interest in boxing (the legendary Muhammad Ali was popular at the time), he decided to write a screenplay for the film Rocky. He reportedly wrote it in just three days. The film, starring Stallone, was shot and released in theaters in 1976 and was an incredible success, winning three Oscars. Stallone has turned into a big star of Hollywood action movies.