Burt Young, a prominent figure in Hollywood, who was often recognized for his role in the challenging world of boxing, especially in the iconic ‘Rocky’ series, received an Academy Award nomination for his outstanding performances. On October 8th, in Los Angeles, at the age of 83, this talented actor left us, although the exact circumstances of his passing remain undisclosed.
The news of his passing was confirmed by his daughter, Anne Moriya Stango, as reported by The New York Times. Burt Young’s career was truly remarkable. He left his mark in the entertainment world with over 160 appearances in both films and television. Classical movies like Once Upon a Time in America, and The Pope of Greenwich Village are some of his most memorable works. His talent knew no bounds, and his performances became enduring pieces of cinematic history.
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From the Ring to the Silver Screen
Before his acting career, Burt Young had a life that was quite different from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. He was a former Marine and professional boxer, and his journey in Hollywood transformed the face of a “tough guy” character, especially in the ‘Rocky’ franchise.
Burt Young was a versatile talent, not just in film but also on television. He graced shows like “MAS*H” with his memorable appearances. In the world of cinema, he had roles in other classical movies such as The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight (1971), Cinderella Liberty (1973), Back to School (1986), and Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989).
In a testament to his diverse skills, he also took on the role of a writer and starred in “Uncle Joe Shannon” in 1978. This film revolved around the life of a jazz trumpeter and his tumultuous journey, showing Young’s multifaceted talent.
The Iconic Role of Paulie in Rocky
It was alongside Sylvester Stallone’s iconic character, Rocky, that Burt Young truly shined. He portrayed Paulie, the brother of Adrian (Talia Shire), who later became Rocky’s girlfriend by the end of the series. Young’s character was not just a supporting role; it added depth to the storyline. He was the one who introduced Rocky to the meat locker, a scene that became part of the heavyweight champion’s extraordinary success.
Recognition and Awards
Burt Young’s prowess as an actor was undeniable. He earned a remarkable ten Academy Award nominations, with one of them recognizing his exceptional performance in ‘Rocky.’ The film ‘Rocky’ itself secured three Oscars, including the prestigious Best Picture award. Burt Young’s presence on the silver screen was truly iconic. His presense in the world of cinema have etched an enduring legacy in the industry.
Remembering Burt Young
Sylvester Stallone, the creative force behind ‘Rocky’ and its leading actor, beautifully summed up Burt Young’s enduring legacy. He fondly offered tribute in memory of Burt Young. It was a heartfelt tribute that truly captures the impact of Burt Young’s life and work. Born as Jerry Thornton DeLouise on April 30, 1940, in Queens, New York, Burt Young’s journey began in the boxing world when he was part of the Marine Corps. He had an impressive boxing record, boasting 17 wins and only 1 loss.
A Unique Path to Acting
Interestingly, Young’s path to acting started with a somewhat unconventional meeting. He once arranged a meeting for a lady who wanted acting lessons from the renowned acting coach Lee Strasberg. Young received a scholarship from Strasberg and spent two years training with him, all while nursing an injury from his boxing days.
A Legacy Beyond the Screen
Burt Young is survived by his daughter and leaves behind a lasting legacy in Hollywood. His immidiate family consists of a brother called Robert, and a grandson.