In the course of an illustrious acting career spanning around five decades, Sylvester Stallone aka Sly has immortalised some of the most iconic characters in American cinema, the lionhearted boxer Rocky Balboa and the daredevil soldier John Rambo to name a few. The celebrated actor, producer and filmmaker is also only the third person in the history of Academy Awards to be chosen for both acting and writing honours in the same year, after Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles.
Stallone started out in Hollywood in the 1970s, appearing in both starring and uncredited roles in a number of films that went largely unnoticed. Among these were the softcore adult film The Party at Kitty and Stud`s (1970), No Place to Hide (1973), the drama The Lords of Flatbush (1974) and the black comedy The Prisoner of Second Avenue(1975). Subsequently, Stallone got the big break of his career with the sports drama Rocky
(1976), which he wrote and starred in. The film, which recounted the rags to riches story of a small-time boxer who takes on the world heavyweight champion, was made at a modest budget of $1 million and went on to earn over $225 million at the box office. Hailed as one of the greatest sports films ever made, Rocky also earned as many as 10 Academy Award nominations (two for Stallone, in Best Actor and Best Screenplay categories), and won three: for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Editing. The film has since spawned as many as seven sequels, Rocky II
(1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV
(1985), Rocky V (1990), Rocky Balboa
(2015) and Creed 2
Following the success of the Rocky film franchise, the actor went on to become one of the biggest action stars of the 1980s. His enormous success in this genre was accentuated by the Rambo film series, which began with the 1982 movie First Blood and has since been followed up by Rambo: First Blood Part II
(1985), Rambo III
(1988), John Rambo
(2008) and Rambo: Last Blood
(2019). Though he did try to diversify his repertoire in the 1990s through comedies like Oscar (1991) and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992), the mainstay of Stallone`s career continued to be the action genre. The buddy cop action film Tango and Cash
(1988), the sci-fi action comedy Demolition Man (1993), the action adventure film Cliffhanger
(1993), the spy thriller The Specialist (1994) and the disaster thriller Daylight (1996) were some of the actor`s other notable film credits before his career went on a downward spiral in the 2000s.
Following a string of disappointments both in terms of critical reception and box office performance, Stallone registered a strong comeback in the latter half of 2000s by resurrecting both Rocky and Rambo - writing, directing and starring in the sixth installment of the former in 2006, and the fourth installment of the latter in 2008. The veteran actor followed up the success of these films with The Expendables film series (2010-), which has so far produced three films featuring an ensemble cast that have grossed over $800 million at the box office worldwide. In 2016, Sly earned the second Oscar nomination of his career for his performance in Creed (2015), almost four decades since the same role earned him his maiden nomination in Rocky (1976). The superhero film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
(2017), the action film Escape Plan 2: Hades
(2018) and the sports drama Creed 2
(2018) are among Stallone`s other significant acting credits in recent times.