Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Road In Hollywood


Sylvester Stallone claims he was having a “temporary form of insanity” when married to his second wife Brigitte Nielson. She has now given her account of their short-term marriage and the truth behind being married to the real life Rocky.

The Biggest Divorce Settlement In The 80s

Stallone was involved in one of the biggest record payouts for a divorce in the 1980’s, with a total of $12 million being paid to his first wife Sasha. With the pair sharing two sons, they called it quits on Valentines Day in 1985.

first wife

Family Shakedown

Just when Stallone was at the height of his career in the 80’s, he was faced with family troubles and subsequent legal settlements. His half sister, who passed away in 2012, accused the star of inflicting physical injury, accusations the star vehemently denied. Nevertheless, with the timings of such accusations, it was advised for the star to pay up to avoid any scandal. Even their own mother claimed it was blackmail on the star, but Toni-Ann Filiti, who was 23 at the time, received a $3 million settlement.


The Point Of Desperation

When Stallone was so desperate for money in his early years, he featured in the adult film The Party at Kitty and Stud’s, for which he got paid $200. He claims this was his only option before robbing someone out of desperation and sleeping in the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City for three weeks. After his breakthrough role in Rocky, however, the film was re-titled as The Italian Stallion, a line from the film, and later released.


Paternity Scandal

Scandalous affairs seem to rock actors in Hollywood during their careers. The same goes for Stallone, who was once linked to former supermodel Janice Dickinson. Their affair during the 90’s came at the time she was dating Michael Birnbaum and the actor was with his current wife, Jennifer Flavin. What rocked the boat most was that Dickinson fell pregnant and she believed it was Stallone’s. After a paternity test six weeks after the birth, it was confirmed that Stallone was not the father.


Steroid Claims

Dickinson made more revelations about the star in her book, No Lifeguard On Duty. Speaking of her time with Stallone, the model claims that she saw the actor “juice” up with steroids, as well as further statinge that the actor had injected her with the steroids as well. The actor was saved from public scandal following confirmation from his reps that this in fact was a desperate woman making desperate claims, since she lied about her child’s father, and was now lying about this.


The Start Of Rocky

Rocky was written by Stallone himself, as well as the actor taking the lead role in the film. He wrote the first draft of the movie in just three and a half days and a total of 20 hours. Stallone was originally offered $360,000 for the script of Rocky. Now, at the time, before his million dollar net worth, he only had $106 in the bank. This, however, did not stop him from declining the offer. He was eventually offered a budget of $1 million.


Not The Academic Type

Stallone is probably best known for his hard and rough image; and this was very much in his personality from a young age, effecting his academics and school enrollment. With a habit for fighting and stealing nuns’ crucifixes, the academia system did not take too well to Stallone’s actions. Overall, the famous actor was expelled from a total of 14 schools and he ended up in a US college in Switzerland to complete his studies.


The Launch Of His Own Self Acclaimed Magazine

Stallone dedicates much of his time to health and fitness, and chose to express his own fitness tips through his own magazine in 2005 titled, Sly. Aimed at the over-40s market, the magazine featured anti-aging tips and body fitness advice, as well as celebrity interviews and front cover shoots of Sly himself. However, it seems that the public were not interested in Rocky’s tips, and after failing to receive much success, the magazine only published four issues.

sly mag

Razzles Over Oscars

He may be highly critically acclaimed for his role in the Rocky sequel, and a successful actor in Hollywood, but he does not have the same kind of awards all the actors are aiming for. Rather, Stallone has been awarded the most Golden Raspberry nominations, with a total of thirty and a win of 10. This included four Worst Actor awards and Worst Actor of The Century award. Fortunately his good work has been credited with three Academy Award nominations.

Golden Globe

No School Does Not Mean No Degree

Just because the academic system did not bode well with Stallone’s antics during school, that did not mean he did not wish to complete his academic studies. So, he made a request he wished would help him gain a degree without having to actually go to college. He asked for his remaining college credits to graduate to be accumulated by his acting and life experiences, and it worked! in 1999 he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Miami.

escape plan

Rocky Can Sing

Alongside his hard-hitting boxing roles, Stallone carries another talent that may not be best known. In fact, the Rambo star can sing, and has made several soundtrack contributions. It may run in the family since his younger brother, Frank, has had some success as a pop singer. Sylvester has has some on-screen singing scenes, such as when he sang to his on screen wife in Rocky, as well as alongside country music star, Dolly Parton, when they co-starred in Rhinestone together.

SS at red carpet

Rambo Hates Guns/post_page_title]

You may have seen Stallone sporting a gun in several of his acting roles, and even starring in films titled, A Bullet To The Head. Nevertheless, the star is in fact one of the most anti-gun actors in Hollywood. Speaking publicly about his opinions of gun laws, Sly has stated that America is living in “the Dark Ages” with the Second amendment still in place, and without the removal of assault weapons, it will eventually lead to “urban warfare”.

In fillm

[post_page_title]A Boxing Great

You would think that in order to win a Boxing Hall of Fame you would have to be an actual boxer. And while this goes for most honors on the Hall of Fame, there have been some exceptions. Stallone for one is an example, and can add the reward of being a Boxing Hall of Fame recipient to his achievements. While he may not be an actual boxer, he was honored this in the non-participant category for his contribution to boxing.

with Mike Tyson

A Rocky Diet

Like any boxer, their diet is extremely important before a fight. Stallone took this into the role of his film and followed an extremely strict, yet dangerous diet. For the third installation of the film, his daily diet included 25 cups of coffee, and his fat percentage went to a dangerous low of 2.9%. He would become extremely light headed during filming, and would have to do handstands during breaks whilst filming to get blood flowing back to his head.


A Career As A Hairdresser

After being expelled from school one too many times, Sylvester’s mum, Jackie, got him a summer job in her beauty salon. Here he probably paid more attention in the salon, and gained experience as a hairdresser before becoming an actor. And it seems that he has not forgotten his original roots since becoming a big Hollywood star. His daughter’s confessed that their father has colored their hair and given style tips for their red carpet appearances.

SS hair

He Could Have Been Superman

While films such as Rocky and Rambo are worldwide successes, famously known for Stallone’s role in both films, he has missed out on other big opportunities during his acting career. Most notably, he has turned down roles in Die Hard which was taken by Bruce Willis, Superman then played by Christopher Reeves, Beverly Hills Cop in which he was rumored to be the first choice over Eddie Murphy, and Pretty Woman, the role of a womanizer played by Richard Gere.

With Arnie

A Dog Is A Man’s Best Friend

His desperation for money before acting came at the expense of his beloved pet dog, Butkus. Selling him to a guy Stallone refers to as Little Jimmy, he managed to get a mere $50 after his original $100 sale sign. But within a week, he had made some money from Rocky and wanted his bull-mastiff back, resulting in begging Little Jimmy for it back. This did not go down too well but was settled after Stallone paid $3000 for his dog.


Anything For His Dog/post_page_title]

This was not the only agreement given to get his dog back. Rather than fighting him, as Little Jimmy wanted, Stallone had another proposal to get Butkus back. Knowing that fighting would just get him arrested, he decided to instead give Little Jimmy a cameo in Rocky with two lines in the script. Butkus also got a role in the franchise, as did Sly’s father Frank Senior, his brother Frank junior, and his son Sage.

With his brother

[post_page_title]Muhammad Ali Inspiration

The inspiration behind Rocky comes from watching the Muhammad Ali-Chuck Wepner fight on March 24, 1975. From watching the match, to writing the script, to becoming the highest grossing film of 1976, and additionally three Oscar wins – Best Picture, Best Director and Best Film Editing. After an unsuccessful run with trying to sell the script to multiple studios, and working on a limited budget so the script could not be exactly how it was when they started, it proved to be worth the hassle!


Leonardo Da Vinci Is His Hero

Acting is not only the form of art that Stallone enjoys participating in. With Leonardo Da Vinci as his personal hero, for over 50 years Stallone has shown an interest in oil paintings and been creating paintings. His works have later been held in exhibitions, with his first being in Switzerland 2011, and sold for high earnings, such as two pieces going for nearly $100K. Additionally, he designed the Montegrappa Chaos Silver Rollerball Pen which is on sale for $5,000.


He Wanted To Grow Up To Be A Super Hero

Stallone did most of the dangerous stunts in his films and, unsurprisingly, suffered many injuries during his career. Before he started acting, he dreamt of being a hero and would wear superhero costumes under his uniform. He did not stop there either. He even attempted to fly out of his bedroom window – he was probably wearing a cape – but that, again unsurprisingly, did not go too well either and resulted in a broken collarbone.


Not Just Breaking Records

Further injuries include a broken neck, a broken spine and dislocated shoulders, and this was just from Expendables 3. No surprise as Stallone stated, “I usually grade the quality of a film by the intensity of the injury”. For Rocky IV, he personally asked Dolph Lundgren to punch him in the chest as hard as possible. So he did, and the outcome was Sylvester in hospital in intensive care at St John’s Hospital for four days. He has since noted that “it was stupid.”


He Came, He Saw And He Conquered

Stallone may have a tough exterior, but that is not to say he does not have fears like the rest of us. He does, however, chose roles which will help conquer these fears and allow him to come to terms with them. When shooting for Cliffhanger, Stallone was able to tackle his fear of heights by climbing the Dolomite mountains, and in Daylight he beat his claustrophobia by filming in a small, enclosed tunnel set.


His Looks

The face behind the famous character’s of Rocky and Rambo is “not handsome in the classical sense” – stated by the man himself. With complications during his mothers labor, her obstetricians had to use forceps during his birth and accidentally severed a nerve and caused paralysis in the lower left side of his face. Nevertheless, he see’s it working in his favor – “The eyes droop, the mouth is crooked, the teeth aren’t straight, the voice sounds like a Mafioso pallbearer, but somehow it all works.”

review gala

Conservative Politics

As a supporter of Conservative politics, it is no surprise that Sly was approached by Donald Trump along his political campaign. In the past, he has supported John McCain and says he loves Donald Trump. However, he declined the offer of being involved in the National Endowment of the Arts, as offered to him by Trump to enhance his celebrity A-Lister following. He himself has even considered going into politics, however, but his wife talked him out of it.


When Rocky Became Rambo

Stallone originally turned down the offer to pay Rambo. The role which gave him one of his most recognized roles was a near missed opportunity, as the star felt that the role had been passed through too many actors and would not actually get made. With his popularity following Rocky, he was offered $3.5 million salary, which may have been the reason for changing his min. He also accepted on the condition that he could re-write the screenplay, making it slightly different to the original novel.

Young Stallone

Eye Of The Tiger

When you think of Rocky, you may automatically start singing “Eye Of The Tiger.” And respectively, when you hear Eye Of The Tiger, you think of Rocky. The two kind of go hand it hand. Yet, this was nearly the case as Stallone originally wanted Queens’ “Another One Bites the Dust” to be used but could not get the rights. That is when Stallone approached the band Survivor to write a song and they penned the now Grammy award winning song for the movie.


Crowdfunding For Films

Stallone helped, friend and former college roommate John Herzfeld launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for their film, Reach Me. Near the end of the production, one of the film’s investors dropped out and the film had run out of money. That is when Stallone came to the rescue (he does like to play superhero) and started a campaign on Kickstarter to raise the remaining $250,000 for the film. The pair were successful with their campaign, the film however, was not.


Real Life Father Son Portrayal

Stallone liked to keep his films in the family, and had many family members cast in his films. When his eldest son Sage was cast as Rocky’s son, the relationship between the pair on the film had a similar representation to their real life relationship. Sage was given the lines, “You never spent time with me! You never spent time with my mother!” and claimed in an interview that he felt he was really saying it to his father.


Rambo In Burma

The forth installation of Rambo was filmed in Burma because of the idea proposed by Stallone. Sly wanted the country to receive more coverage through the film to make up for the lack of coverage by the Western media. He was mainly attracted by the idea after reading about the events of the Saffron Revolution and the ongoing civil war in Burma. He felt that the film would gain more coverage for the conflicts, which needed to garner more attention.


Rocky Was Nearly Not Rocky

With a film revolving around the sport of boxing, you would be thinking of the intensity from a lot of punches being thrown. So when thinking of a name for the film, you would think of something that best associates it with the theme of the film. That is probably why Stallone came up with the name Punchers Chance for the original title. Now, as one of the most famous films worldwide, Stallone has commented saying “I’m glad I didn’t”.


Family Troubles Leads To Future Oscar Winner

While it would have been a nice idea to grow up to be a superhero like he planned, his efforts turned to acting at a young age. With a troubled childhood, and spending five years in foster homes while his parents constantly fought with one another and ignored their children, Sly developed an interest in acting. Stallone wanted to gain affection from the strangers who were essentially raising him, and he believed acting would be the best way to do so.


Life With Teenage Daughters

Stallone has been happily married for the past 19 years, and has three daughters with his current wife. The three daughters, who became Miss Golden Globes 2017, have grown up with a father in the spotlight. Tthe great thing about a famous father, are his famous friends and contacts. The girls used this to their advantage by going through their dad’s phone book and seeing who they could call. Fortunately for them, Liam Hemsworth was found and they tried to call him. Unfortunately, he never answered.


Rotten Tomatoes Does Not Pretend

In addition to acting, Stallone has also tried out directing. This may have not been the best career move for the actor, who gained tremendous success for many of his films. As a sequel from Saturday Night Fever, Stallone directed Staying Alive, a film on an aspiring Broadway star and featuring John Travolta. But I would not rush to see this film anytime soon if you already haven’t since Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 0% rating…


The Worst Film In The Entire Solar System

He may be one of the most famous actors, but he does recognize when he has made mistakes in choosing films. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot You is said by Stallone to be the worst film he has ever starred in. He expresses his dislike for the film stating that “a flatworm could write a better script”, and if they ran the film twice a week in China, the country could become extinct with the film lowering the birth rate.

La screening

The Power Of Sico

Sico the robot in Rocky IV may be known for getting Paulie beers. However, the real role of Sico was to help treat autism in children. When creator Robert Doornick appeared on a talk show to promote his robot and it’s functions, he left the show with a call from the Stallone family. Sylvester’s son, Seargeoh Stallone, is autistic and the family were interested in how the robot would help their child. It was after that he was then cast in the film.


A Rocky Marriage

After 11 years of marriage, Stallone and his first wife’s marriage broke down following his affair with another married woman, Brigitte Nielson. This was not the first time he was accused of adulterous behavior; a year before their divorce, he was caught having an affair with actress Susan Acton. Yet, while his wife reconciled with him following her threat of divorce, the final straw came when he chose to be with Nielson, ending in divorce between the pair in 1985.


17 Year Age Gap

Much to the dismissal of his own mother, who called his new love “a broad”, Sly went onto marry Nielson following their separation from their spouses. This caused a tabloid outcry since Nielson was 17 years his junior, who he left the mother of his two children for. A 22 year old actress was now married to one of the most famous men in Hollywood at the time, and this did not go without scrutiny wand Nielson being branded publicly as a ‘gold digger’.


What Goes Around Comes Back Around

With the attention on this new high profile relationship, the rumor mill ran wild with accusations of the stars. Particularly on Nielson, who was seen as taking advantage of Stallone at the height of his career. She was accused of having an affair with Tony Scott, her director in Beverly Hills Cop II, and rumors of affairs did not end there; the next was attached to an affair with her female secretary, Kelly Sahnger.


Marrying The Rocky

With a highly publicized divorce just two years into their marriage, it seems that the disapproved relationship was always destined to fail. Brigitte Nielson now reveals that Stallone begged her to marry him, even though they had only known each other a few months. Claiming now that it was a mistake and the pair should have never married, she says that at the time even though she thought it was crazy, everybody else was saying “Who wouldn’t want to marry Rocky?”

Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen attend a performance of the Broadway play "Cuba & His Teddy Bear"