Wednesday, February 6, 2013

An American hero?

If somebody asked you to name five “tough as nails” action heroes, you’d probably include Sylvester Stallone as one of them. To date, he’s completed 60 movies, and he plays a “tough guy” role in the vast majority of them.

He appeared in 4 Rambo movies, and 6 Rocky films, but you’re probably familiar with a number of his other roles as well. His very first film was a soft core porn film called “The Party at Kitty and Stud’s” , which he agreed to do when he was virtually penniless.

The most memorable line in the second Rambo movie was this one:

what is it you want?

In view of all the “macho” roles that he’s played, you’d probably assume that he had some military service along the way, wouldn’t you?

If you did, you’d be wrong.

When he was 19, he moved to Switzerland, and served as the girl’s athletic coach at the American College of Switzerland in Leysin, where he was employed for two years. He later moved to Florida, and attended the University of Miami in the late 1960’s, which gave him a student deferment. After he dropped out of school, he took an army physical.

And failed.

His tough guy appearance is actually the result of an accident that occurred at the time of his birth. Due to complications his mother suffered during his delivery, her obstetrician was forced to use forceps to bring him into the world. The forceps severed a nerve, and caused paralysis in the lower left side of his face. That, in turn, led to his snarling look and slurred speech.

Immediately prior to his first film role (the porn film) he had been evicted from his apartment in New York City for failure to pay rent, and would up sleeping in the New York City Port Authority bus station for three weeks.

Today, he’s got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and he’s worth $275 million, so I think he’s done just fine.

Although the majority of his movies did not receive critical acclaim, “Rocky” apparently stuck a nerve with the film industry. It was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Actor and best Original Screenplay, and went on to win Best Picture, Best Directing, and Best Film Editing.

Stallone is not noted for being involved in any charitable causes, but here’s his take on philanthropy:

“Rambo isn't violent. I see Rambo as a philanthropist”

Is he a hero? Technically not, but try watching the video below, and tell me that you don’t feel inspired.

Rocky theme

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