“His whole life was a million to one shot”!
You must be wondering who that is? His name is Sylvester Stallone (real name Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone), who, in addition to acting, also directs and writes screenplays.
I’m going to tell you Sylvester Stallone’s life story, one of the most famous actors of today!
He was born on July 6, 1946. In Hell’s Kitchen, New York, as the first child of hairdresser Frank Stallone, an immigrant from Italy, and Jacqueline, born Labovich, a Jew from Odessa, who studied astrology and dance. During the birth, Sylvester’s nerves were damaged by forceps, so the lower part of his face, including the part of his tongue and lips, remained paralyzed, and that is why his face was distorted and his speech was slurred. In addition to the physical damage, he also had psychological traumas: while the parents were working and arguing violently, the boy was raised by foster families – he later said that he developed his acting talent by trying to please the foster parents.
After his parents divorced, Stallone stayed with his mother, who sent him to a steppe school – a kind of dance, one of the few from which he was not expelled (He was a very naughty boy and was expelled from 14 schools. He enrolled in a special high school in which the problematic students went).
He managed to finish high school in Philadelphia, where he distinguished himself as a discus thrower and enrolled at the American College in Switzerland with a sport’s scholarship. There, he appeared in the drama “Death of a Merchant Traveler” and became interested in acting.
Even as a very young man, he wanted to become an actor. At every audition he went to, he would be rejected. His handicaps and his physical appearance were ridiculed by the commissions. He was told that he looked like an idiot and that he needed to do something else. And if he was aware of his shortcomings and shortcomings, he still had only one wish – to become an actor. He himself once stated that he tried his luck at as many as 30 auditions.
After returning to the United States, he studied drama for two years, and then moved to his native New York, hoping for an acting career. Instead, however, he worked as a cage cleaner at the Central Park Zoo and tore up tickets at the Baronet cinema, from where he was fired for trying to resell a ticket to the hit “M.A.S.H. – to the owner of the cinema. He only got small and unnoticed roles, and even when he appeared as a guest in the TV series “Police Story” and “Kodiak”, many did not believe that there would be anything from his acting career!
In December 1974, Stallone married actress Sasha Chuck, four years his junior, after which they moved to Hollywood in hopes of doing better. They rented a cramped apartment where cockroaches walked around, for which they paid 215 dollars a month, and soon they didn’t have the money for that either. In order to be able to pay his rent, Stallone secretly took his wife’s jewelry and sold it! When she found out, the woman left him!
Since he had no money, he decided to sell his dog, whom he loved very much, but he could not support him. He asked for $ 50 for it, but got $ 25! Since he had no choice, he accepted the offer and, crying, left! It was one of the most difficult moments in his life, as he later stated himself.
He stayed on the street… For three weeks he slept on the bench of the New York bus station and swam in the city pool – he reached the very bottom.
The key moment in his life was going to the public library. But not to read something, but just to warm up. And sitting like that on a chair, his gaze stopped on a book accidentally left behind. These were the stories of “Ed Grain”.
I will quote Stallone’s words, how that book helped him:
“It simply came to my notice then. It made me think about how I could influence other people, touch them, not think only of myself. Maybe I decide to be a writer, said Stallone”.
A turning point in life
After that, he watched a boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner which is a turning point in his life! In that match, Wepner received a big beating, but he stayed in the match and fought in all fifteen rounds.
His fighting spirit inspired Stallone to write a screenplay for a film called “Rocky”. He wrote for 20 hours non-stop! When he finished, he was excited and all shaking, because he knew it was the right thing to do!
The next step was to find interested parties to make the film. In the agencies he offered, they read and said: “well, this is funny”, “this is predictable”, “this will not pass”. It didn’t discourage him, he just wrote down everything they told him nicely (later he read it all at the Oscars, when the film won three Oscars).
After a long period, he finds Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, producers who, after reading the script for the film, offered Stallone 125,000 dollars to buy it, because they liked it so much! Although he did not like the idea, Stallone agreed, but with one condition: that he interpret the main role! They didn’t even want to hear. They wanted a script, but not him! Stallone took the script and left. Unbelievably, a man who has nothing to eat, refuses 125,000 dollars. But he had faith and vision.
The same people, after a few weeks, offer him 250,000 dollars, but he refuses them again. The last offer they gave him was 350,000 dollars, and he refused. Either he will be Rocky or he won’t even sell the script. Seeing that he will not give up, they offer him 35,000 dollars and the main role. Rocky agrees and is born – an Italian stallion!
“Rocky” was recorded in 28 days with a budget of one million dollars, and it earned over 225 million! It won three Oscars and was included in the American National Film Registry as one of the best films of all time!
When he got the money from the movie, the first thing he did was buy his dog!
He went in front of the same shop and waited for three days until the owner appeared with “his” dog. When he explained to him why he sold the dog, he offered the man $100,000 dollars to buy him back. He refused! Stallone then offered him $200, then $ 500, $1000, but the new owner did not give in! In the end, he offered him $ 15,000, which he agreed to (Do you remember the dog from the movie? Yes, that’s the famous dog)!
I will end this story with my favorite message from Sylvester Stallone, which he uttered in the movie “Rocky VI”:
“Let me tell you something you already know … The world is not rain and sunsets. In fact, the world is an evil and disgusting place. And it doesn’t matter how strong you are, it hits you and you fall to your knees, and if you let it, it will leave you like that.
Neither you nor anyone else strikes as hard as life.
But it doesn’t matter how hard you get hit, it’s important to stay on that path, and it matters how long you can endure and move on.
That’s what winners do.
And now, if you know how much you are worth, go and achieve what you are worth. But you also have to be able to take the heavy blows of life and not point a finger and say that you are who you are because of this or that. That’s what cowards do. And you’re not a coward”.
“Never defeat only lesson”!
I hope you liked the biography of Sylvester Stallone?
If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comments!
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