In 2015, Stallone reprised his role as Rocky Balboa in a spin-off-sequel film, Creed, which focused on Adonis "Donnie" Creed, the son of his deceased friend/rival, Apollo Creed, becoming a professional boxer, played by Michael B. Jordan. The film, directed by Ryan Coogler, received critical acclaim. Portraying the iconic cinematic boxer for the seventh time in a span of 40 years, Stallone's portrayal of the character received widespread acclaim and accolades, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor, and his third Academy Award nomination, this time for Best Supporting Actor.
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 modelled on James Hoffa, who becomes involved in the labor union leadership. In 1979 he wrote, directed and starred in the sequel to his 1976 hit, Rocky II (replacing John G. Avildsen, who won an Academy Award for directing the first film), which also became a major success, grossing US$200 million. In 1981, he starred alongside Michael Caine and soccer star Pelé in Escape to Victory, a sports drama in which he plays a prisoner of war involved in a Nazi propaganda soccer game. That same year, he starred in the thriller Nighthawks, in which he plays a New York city cop who plays a cat-and-mouse game with a foreign terrorist, played by Rutger Hauer.Stallone launched another major franchise, starring as Vietnam veteran John Rambo, a former Green Beret, in the action film First Blood (1982), which was both a critical and box office success. Critics praised Stallone's performance, saying he made Rambo seem human, as opposed to the way he is portrayed in the book of the same name. Four Rambo sequels, Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Rambo III (1988), Rambo (2008), and Rambo: Last Blood (2019) followed. He also continued his box office success with the Rocky franchise and wrote, directed, and starred in two more 1980s sequels to the series: Rocky III (1982) and Rocky IV (1985). Stallone has portrayed these two characters in a total of eleven films. In preparation for these roles, Stallone embarked upon a vigorous training regimen, which often meant six days a week in the gym and further sit-ups in the evenings. Stallone claims to have reduced his body fat percentage to his all-time low of 2.8% for Rocky III. Stallone met former Mr. Olympia Franco Columbu to develop his character's appearance for the films Rocky IV and Rambo II, just as if he were preparing for the Mr. Olympia competition. That meant two workouts a day, six days a week.More Info
In 1993, he made a comeback with the hit Cliffhanger, which was a success in the US, grossing US$84 million, but even more successful worldwide, grossing US$171 million. Later that year, he starred with Wesley Snipes in the futuristic action film Demolition Man, which grossed over US$158 million worldwide. His string of hits continued with 1994's The Specialist (over US$170 million worldwide gross). In 1995, he played the futuristic character Judge Dredd (from the British comic book 2000 AD) in the eponymous film Judge Dredd. His overseas box office appeal saved the domestic box office disappointment of Judge Dredd, which cost almost US$100 million and barely made its budget back, with a worldwide tally of US$113 million. Despite its performance, he signed a three-picture deal with Universal Pictures for $60 million, making him the second star after Jim Carrey to receive $20 million per film, however the deal expired in February 2000 without him making any films and therefore, received no payment. He later appeared in the thriller Assassins (1995) with Julianne Moore and Antonio Banderas and the following year he starred in the disaster film Daylight (1996).More Info
Stallone happened to be acting in a play that a friend invited him to partake in, and an agent in attendance thought that Stallone fit the role of Stanley, a main character in The Lords of Flatbush, which had a start-stop schedule from 1972 to 1974 over budget issues. Stallone, around mid-1973, achieved his first proper starring role, in the independent film No Place to Hide, playing a man who is associated with a New York-based urban terrorist movement, with a jewellery-seller as his love interest. The film was re-cut and retitled Rebel years later, this second version featuring Stallone as its star. After the style of Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily?, this film, in 1990, was re-edited from outtakes from the original movie and newly shot matching footage, then redubbed into an award-winning parody of itself titled A Man Called... Rainbo.More Info
After moving to New York City, Stallone shared a flat with his girlfriend, Sasha Czack, who supporting them by working as a waitress and she was an aspiring actress herself. Stallone took odd jobs around this time, including being a cleaner at a zoo, and an usher, where he scalped tickets, but he was caught by the manager, and fired. Stallone apparently bathed wearing his clothes, and persisted with auditions, but never really got anywhere. He visited a local library, furthering his writing skills, and became interested in the works of Edgar Allan Poe.More Info
Stallone gained worldwide fame with his starring role in the smash hit Rocky (1976). On March 24, 1975, Stallone saw the Muhammad Ali–Chuck Wepner fight. That night Stallone went home, and after three days and 20 straight hours, he had written the script, but Stallone subsequently denied that Wepner provided any inspiration for it. Other possible inspirations for the film may have included Rocky Graziano's autobiography Somebody Up There Likes Me, and the movie of the same name. Wepner filed a lawsuit which was eventually settled with Stallone for an undisclosed amount. Stallone attempted to sell the script to multiple studios, with the intention of playing the lead role himself. Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff became interested and offered Stallone US$350,000 for the rights, but had their own casting ideas for the lead role, including Robert Redford and Burt Reynolds. Stallone refused to sell unless he played the lead character and eventually, after a substantial budget cut to compromise, it was agreed he could be the star.More Info
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