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.
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
Eastwood is an audiophile and owns an extensive collection of LPs which he plays on a Rockport turntable. He has had a strong passion for music all his life, particularly jazz and country and western music. He dabbled in music early on by developing as a boogie-woogie pianist and had originally intended to pursue a career in music by studying for a music theory degree after graduating from high school. In late 1959 he produced the album Cowboy Favorites, released on the Cameo label, which included some classics such as Bob Wills's "San Antonio Rose" and Cole Porter's "Don't Fence Me In". Despite his attempts to plug the album by going on a tour, it never reached the Billboard Hot 100. In 1963, Cameo producer Kal Mann told him that "he would never make it big as a singer". Nevertheless, during the off season of filming Rawhide, Eastwood and Paul Brinegar – sometimes joined by Sheb Wooley – toured rodeos, state fairs, and festivals. In 1962, their act, entitled Amusement Business Cavalcade of Fairs, earned them as much as $15,000 a performance. Eastwood has his own Warner Bros. Records-distributed imprint, Malpaso Records, as part of his deal with Warner Brothers. This deal was unchanged when Warner Music Group was sold by Time Warner to private investors. Malpaso Records, which has released all of the scores of Eastwood's films from The Bridges of Madison County onward, has also released the album of a 1996 jazz concert he hosted, titled Eastwood after Hours – Live at Carnegie Hall.More Info
In 2010 at age 80, Eastwood spent approximately $20 million to build himself a 15,949-square-foot compound in Carmel-by-the-Sea. His California real estate portfolio also includes a 6,136-square-foot Spanish style mansion in Bel-Air, the 1,067.5 acre Rising River Ranch in Burney, an apartment in Burbank, as well as a large but understated house located next door to his longtime primary Bel-Air residence. Eastwood is known to have purchased property in two other states. He owns a 5,700-square-foot house in Sun Valley, Idaho and a 1.13-acre, oceanfront manor in Kihei, Hawaii. The latter was featured in an episode of the 2012 reality show Mrs. Eastwood & Company.More Info
Eastwood is a former Republican who has sometimes supported Democrats, and has long shown an interest in California politics; he is currently a registered Libertarian. He won election as the nonpartisan mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California in April 1986. He earned $200 per month in that position which he donated to the Carmel Youth Center. While in office, he helped to make ice cream legal to consume on city streets, added public restrooms to the public beach, and a city library annex building was built. He served for 2 years and declined to run for a second term. In 2001, Governor Gray Davis appointed him to the California State Park and Recreation Commission, where he led opposition to an extension of the toll six-lane 26-kilometre (16 mi) freeway extension of California State Route 241 through San Onofre State Beach. Eastwood endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. He delivered a prime time address at the 2012 Republican National Convention, where he drew attention for a speech he delivered to an empty chair representing President Barack Obama, which he later regretted. On February 22, 2020, Eastwood announced that he would be endorsing Democrat Mike Bloomberg in the 2020 presidential election. "The best thing we could do is just get Mike Bloomberg in there," Eastwood said. Eastwood said that he wishes that Trump would act "in a more genteel way, without tweeting and calling people names. I would personally like for him to not bring himself to that level."More Info
Eastwood has been recognized with multiple awards and nominations for his work in film, television, and music. His widest reception has been in film work, for which he has received Academy Awards, Directors Guild of America Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and People's Choice Awards, among others. Eastwood is one of only two people to have been twice nominated for Best Actor and Best Director for the same film (Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby) the other being Warren Beatty (Heaven Can Wait and Reds). Along with Beatty, Robert Redford, Richard Attenborough, Kevin Costner, and Mel Gibson, he is one of the few directors best known as an actor to win an Academy Award for directing. On February 27, 2005, he became one of only three living directors (along with Miloš Forman and Francis Ford Coppola) to have directed two Best Picture winners. At the age of 74, he was the oldest recipient of the Academy Award for Best Director to date. Eastwood has directed five actors in Academy Award-winning performances: Gene Hackman in Unforgiven, Tim Robbins and Sean Penn in Mystic River, and Morgan Freeman and Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby.More Info
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