If you ever feel like giving up on a goal, just think about Sylvester Stallone. It’s 50 years since he first played Rocky Balboa and now the veteran actor is surprising everyone – including himself – by winning the top awards.
Today he won Best Supporting Actor in the Critics Choice Awards for Creed, a “passing of the torch” film in which he revives his most famous character Rocky Balboa. Stallone is even tipped to win an Oscar.
— Variety (@Variety) January 18, 2016
But few people know that behind the almost incoherent mumble and rugged face lies a man who has faced incredible personal challenges to do what he loved.
One fan, however, decided the world needed to know. He posted a lengthy rant on Facebook telling Stallone’s story:
“This is one of the saddest stories ever told in Hollywood. His name is Sylvester Stallone. One of the biggest and most famous American Movie superstars.
“Back in the day, Stallone was a struggling actor in every definition. At some point, he got so broke that he stole his wife’s jewellery and sold it. Things got so bad that he even ended up homeless. Yes, he slept at the New York bus station for three days. Unable to pay rent or afford food. His lowest point came when he tried to sell his dog at the liquor store to any stranger. He didn’t have money to feed the dog anymore. He sold it at $25 only. He says he walked away crying.
“Two weeks later, he saw a boxing match between Mohammed Ali and Chuck Wepner and that match gave him the inspiration to write the script for the famous movie, Rocky. He wrote the script for 20 hours! He tried to sell it and got an offer for $125,000 for the script. But he had just one request. He wanted to star in
the movie. He wanted to be the main actor. Rocky himself. But the studio said no. They wanted a real star.
“They said he ‘Looked funny and talked funny’. He left with his script. A few weeks later,the studio offered him $250,000 for the script. He refused. They even offered $350,000. He still refused. They wanted his movie. But not him. He said no. He had to be in the movie.
“After a while, the studio agreed,gave him $35,000 for the script and let him star in it! The rest is history! The movie won Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Film Editing at the prestigious Oscar Awards. He was even nominated for best actor! The movie Rocky was even inducted into the American National Film Registry as one of the greatest movies ever!
“And do You know the first thing he bought with the $35,000? The dog he sold. Yes, Stallone loved his dog so much that he stood at the liquor store for three days waiting for the man he sold
his dog to. And on the third day,he saw the man coming with the dog. Stallone explained why he sold the dog and begged for the dog back. The man refused. Stallone offered him $100. The man refused. He offered him $500. And the guy refused. Yes,he refused even $1000. And, believe it or not, Stallone had to pay $15,000 for the same,same dog he sold at $25 only! And he finally got his dog back!
And today,the same Stallone who slept in the streets and sold his dog just because he couldn’t even feed it anymore, is one of the greatest movie stars who ever walked the earth!”
Stallone’s story doesn’t stop there. In 2012, he lost his oldest son Sage Moonblood to heart disease at the age of 36; and his younger son was diagnosed with autism at an early age.
When winning his award today Stallone joked, “At least there’s one upside to getting older.”
He also acknowledged that hindsight made him think differently about criticism in his past. “I never used to understand critics, but actually now I realise they are being very constrictive. When I go back years later, I think ‘they were right, this thing really is a stinker’.”
When winning the Golden Globe, he gave credit to his “imaginary friend” Rocky.