Burt Young, unforgettable Paulie from the Rocky saga, has just passed away at the age of 83.
Burt Young | Passed away at the age of 83
The opportunity to return to an astonishing anecdote: for the first film in the franchise, he was better paid than Sylvester Stallone!
The first time the two met was in the mid-’70s, a time when Young was better known than “Sly.” “I am the only actor who did not audition for the first Rocky, and I am the one who was paid the best on this film,” he declared in 2017, not a little proud, on the microphone of the site The Rumpus .
Burt Young then recounts how Stallone put a nice little pressure on him to star in the first film of the saga. “He knelt down next to me,” the actor recalls.
“He said to me, ‘Mr. Young, I’m Sylvester Stallone. I wrote Rocky. You have to make the film, please.” By telling me that, he was trying to twist my arm.” Let’s hope for his sake that he used the metaphor!
The rest, in any case, we know: Burt Young will get the role of Paulie, Rocky’s irascible and touching brother-in-law. A role adored by the public, inseparable from the famous boxer, which he played in six films in the franchise and for which he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Role.
“The first Rocky movie wasn’t about a boxing match, it was a love story about someone fighting to live. Not even about someone winning, just someone “one who fights to live”, declared Burt Young in 2006 at the Bright Lights Film Journal.
“As for my character Paulie, I made him a tough but sensitive guy. He’s really a teddy bear, even if he shouts a lot.”