Just as Rocky Balboa rose from nothing to become one of the best boxers in the world, Sylvester Stallone came from a disadvantaged upbringing to become one of the biggest stars on the planet. It was a difficult and often traumatic road to fame and fortune for the New York City-born actor-director-writer-producer, and even when Stallone was on top and no longer the underdog, he still suffered losses few could expect. others can imagine.

That’s part of why Stallone feels so close to the Rocky Balboa character he created. He told Variety of Rocky (1976) in the summer of 2019, “It’s really a metaphor for life. This was a love story. It happens that he boxed for a living, but the story is about his love for [wife Adrian]. You root for the underdog, and he had something to fight for: her.”

Stallone has become more than adept at rolling with the (metaphorical) punches, bringing back punches that would hit even some of the strongest men. From show business beginnings to family heartbreaks, here is the tragic true-life story of Sylvester Stallone.

The tragic reason behind Sylvester Stallone’s ‘snarl’

Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone’s trademark “snarl” and sometimes marble-mouthed speech are occasionally teased. However, the star’s curled lip and vocal delivery isn’t a tough guy act, it’s actually the result of a traumatic birth. According to the Chicago Tribune , an accident during Stallone’s childbirth resulted in a severed facial nerve, which caused his lower lip to droop and paralyzed part of his tongue and chin. Still, Stallone has taken it all in stride.

To say that Sylvester Stallone had a difficult childhood is almost not enough

Sylvester Stallone

In addition to Sylvester Stallone’s traumatic birth, the actor suffered a number of medical problems throughout his early life. He told The Chicago Tribune that when he was growing up, his facial nerve damage made him feel like “Mr. He potato head with all the parts in the wrong place…he wanted to be anyone but me”. 

The Expendables star told the outlet: “I’d sit and smash cars with a lead pipe, paint the house black, slash Santa Claus, shoot arrows out of a classroom window, jump off the roof with an umbrella and he would break my arm”. 

Sylvester Stallone did some eroticism, but it’s not what you think

Sylvester Stallone

Six years before Rocky (1976), Sylvester Stallone was sleeping at the Port Authority and struggling with acting work (including a skit in which a co-star gave him frostbite when she sprayed him with a fire extinguisher) and menial jobs (such as peeing) by lions when cleaning their cages at the Central Park Zoo). Translation: he was broke. As such, Playboy told him he starred in Party at Kitty And Stud’s .(1970), a softcore pornographic film that, by today’s standards, would probably get a PG rating. “It was making that movie or robbing someone because I was at the end, at the end, of my rope,” he said. “Instead of doing something desperate, I worked two days for $200 and got out of the bus station.”

Dolph Lundgren almost killed Sylvester Stallone

Dolph Lundgren and Sylvester Stallone

While filming Rocky IV (1985), Dolph Lundgren nearly knocked out Sylvester Stallone for good. Stallone recalled pushing at the Cannes Film Festival (via Vulture ) that the Swedish karate master turned action star was almost too “perfect,” causing Stallone to almost loathe him at first sight… and it really worked .good for the movie Stallone says too good, because Lundgren really did pack a punch. “He hit me so hard it almost stopped my heart,” Stallone said.

Sylvester Stallone struggled with his son’s autism

Sylvester Stallone

Advances in autism research and funding have taken leaps and bounds since the birth of Sylvester Stallone’s son, Seargeoh. But when the boy was diagnosed with the disorder, it was incredibly difficult for the actor and his then-wife, Sasha Czeck (seen here holding Seargeoh). The then-estranged couple told People in 1985 that they separately dealt with their son’s struggles, with Czeck assuming most of the boy’s responsibilities while Stallone worked (and earned funding for autism research with premieres).

Sage Stallone died of a heart attack at a tragically young ageSage Stallone and Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone’s eldest son, Sage, with whom he was quite close, died at the age of 36 in July 2012. Sage reportedly passed away from a heart condition called atherosclerosis, in which cholesterol and fats block the arteries and restrict blood flow. Cardiovascular disease caused Sage to suffer a heart attack, which ultimately ended his life, CNN reported. Even more heartbreaking, in addition to grieving the death of his son, Sylvester also had to deal with media speculation that Sage was taking drugs at the time of his passing, allegations that turned out to be unfounded, as nothing more than “style.” Tylenol pain medication” (in normal amounts) was found in his system.

Sylvester Stallone’s sister may have blackmailed him for decades

Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone had a contentious relationship with his half-sister, Toni Ann Filiti, for decades. Page Six reported that “at the height of [Stallone’s] fame,” the actor-producer-screenwriter “reached a confidential, multi-million-dollar settlement” with Filiti that sources described as a “shakedown.” In 1987, Stallone reportedly agreed to give Filiti $16,666.66 a month for his lifetime. , plus a balloon payment of $2 million and “a trust of $50,000 per year for medical and psychiatric expenses.” Filiti accused Stallone of “personal injury, including bodily injury,” which he “vigorously” denied.

Sylvester Stallone’s eldest daughter also suffered from health problems

Sophia Stallone and Sylvester Stallone

Stallone’s wife, Jennifer Flavin, said of Sophia: “She is the most like her father. Like him, she has read almost all of Shakespeare’s books. They have a very special bond, they think alike and even have the same gestures, Sophia is the love of her life.” She added about her husband: “This is a terrible year, a horrible year for him.