Rocky Actor Burt Young dies at 83

Burt Young passes away at the age of 83 (Image via Instagram/@burtyoungofficial)
Burt Young passes away at the age of 83 (Image via Instagram/@burtyoungofficial)

In a somber moment for Hollywood and fans worldwide, veteran actor Burt Young passed away at the age of 83. According to his daughter, Anne Morea Steingieser, he set for the heavenly abode on October 8. The cause of Young's death remains undisclosed.

Gerald Tommaso DeLouise, as he was originally known, was born in Queens, New York City. Burt served in the US Marine Corps during the 1950s and later studied acting at Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio. He carved out a career playing primarily tough-guy and Italian-American roles in TV and movies. Most people remember him for his role as Paulie Pennino in the 1976 movie Rocky.

The Rocky series has a cult following, and boxing aficionados still look up to the movies for inspiration. In the film, he played an alcoholic butcher and friend to Sylvester Stallone's character, Rocky Balboa.

Burt Young: A multi-faceted artist

Young grew up in Corona, a working-class area in Queens. He wrote in a 2015 foreword that his dad sent him to Bryant High School in Astoria to distance him from his local friends. He also began boxing in the Marine Corps and later had a short but successful pro career.

Cus D'Amato, who also managed Floyd Patterson and Mike Tyson, trained him. Young reported varying accounts of his win-loss record, which was around 17-1 before he left boxing.

Young's portrayal of Paulie earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The original Rocky film was a hit, receiving 10 Oscar nominations and winning three, including best picture. Young returned as Paulie in all six original Rocky sequels.

He also appeared in other films such as Chinatown, The Pope of Greenwich Village, and Once Upon a Time in America. Additionally, he guest-starred on TV shows such as M*A*S*H, The Rockford Files, Baretta, and Law & Order.

Beyond the silver screen, Burt Young was also a painter whose works were displayed in galleries around the world. This artistic versatility only adds to the rich legacy he leaves behind.

Sylvester Stallone honors the legacy of his friend Burt Young

Young was an integral part of the Rocky franchise. His character, Paulie, was not just Rocky Balboa's brother-in-law but also the brother of Rocky's love interest, Adrian. This, in turn, added another layer to his importance in the series.

Their friendship grew on the sets of Rocky. So, shortly after the news of Young's death broke, Sylvester Stallone shared an old photo of the two on his social media platforms, remembering the imprints his friend Burt Young left behind.

The tribute read:

"To my Dear Friend, BURT YOUNG, you were an incredible man and artist, I and the World will miss you very much…RIP."

The news of Young's passing has led to an outpouring of grief and tributes from fans and industry insiders alike. Social media platforms are filled with posts honoring his memory and the indelible mark he left on Hollywood.

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Edited by Divya Singh
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