Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone is one of the most popular and beloved actors of Hollywood, known especially for having played two of the most famous characters in the history of cinema: Rocky Balboa and John Rambo.
As you can easily deduce from his surname, Sylvester Stallone has Italian Origin, his father Francesco “Frank” Stallone was the son of Italian emigrants, Silvestro Stallone and Pulchiera Nicastri from Gioia del Colle, in province of Bari.
Sylvester was born at a charity institution in Hell’s Kitchen, a district of Manhattan in New York. After a very troubled childhood and adolescence due to the separation of his parents and to the rickets that caused him many physical problems, he embarked on a film career.
In 1976 Stallone presented to two producers (Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff) his writing Rocky, the first lucky episode of a saga about an Italian-American boxer, nicknamed “The Italian Stallion”, who can’t succeed in boxing. The producers were not convinced that Stallone could draw attention to this character, since until then the actor of Italian Origin had only played small parts in several films. Instead, Stallone received an Academy Award nomination for both screenwriter and actor for the film Rocky, a feat in which before him only Orson Welles and Charlie Chaplin succeeded.
Next to Stallone we find another talented actress of Italian Origin, Talia Shire, sister of Francis Ford Coppola, a veteran of fame for playing Connie Corleone, in the film The Godfather. In this film Talia plays the girlfriend, then future wife of Rocky, Adriana Pennino.
After this film the career of Sylvester Stallone had a sudden surge, during which he had luck both as an actor and as a writer. Stallone, in most of his films, plays characters of noble values, who find themselves fighting in a corrupt society, from which they want to keep their distance at all costs.
Except various action movies like Cliffhanger, Demolition Man, Cobra we can remember some lighter role as Angelo “Snaps” Provolone, in Oscar, and a soccer goalkeeper in Victory.
Among the several occupations of Stallone and charities, together with Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, he is co-owner of the famous Planet Hollywood restaurant chain.
At the Academy Award in 2008 Sylvester Stallone expressed appreciation of Italian cinema and culture and declared: “with great pride I boast my Italian Origin and will be happy, one day, to live in Italy, and die in Italy”.
If you want to visit the hometown of the famous actor of Italian Origin we recommend you the tour Murge Territory.