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Sylvester Stallone (born July 6, 1946) is a two-time Academy Award-nominated American actor, director, producer and screenwriter. He achieved his greatest successes in a number of action films, notably the Rocky and Rambo series.
Stallone was born in Hell's Kitchen/Clinton, Manhattan, New York; the son of Jacqueline "Jackie" (nee Labofish), an astrologer, former dancer, and promoter of women's wrestling, and Frank Stallone, Sr., a hairdresser. Stallone's father was an immigrant from Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, and his mother is of part Eastern European Jewish ancestry (her grandmother, Rosa Rabinovich, was from Odessa, Ukraine). In the 1960s, Stallone attended the American College of Switzerland, Leysin and the University of Miami for three years. He came within a few credit hours of graduation, before he decided to drop out and pursue an acting career. After Stallone's request that his acting and life experiences be accepted in exchange for his remaining credits, he was granted a Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) degree by the President of the University of Miami in 1999.
Stallone made his film debut with a 1970 pornographic film. He was paid US$200 for two days work. Originally released as hardcore pornography, scenes of sexual penetration were edited out on later releases of the film designed to cash in on Stallone's fame. These releases were re-packaged under the names of Italian Stallion (taken from Stallone's nickname and a line from the film) and Cocky (a spoof of Rocky). Stallone's other first few film roles were minor, and included brief uncredited appearances in Woody Allen's Bananas (1971) as a subway thug, in the psychological thriller Klute (1971) as an extra dancing in a club, and in the Jack Lemmon vehicle Prisoner of 2nd Avenue (1975) as a youth. In the Lemmon film, Jack Lemmon chases and tackles Stallone, thinking he is a pickpocket. He had his first starring role in the cult hit The Lords of Flatbush (1974). In 1975 he played supporting roles in Farewell, My Lovely, Capone and, another cult hit, Death Race 2000. He also made guest appearances on the TV series Police Story and Kojak.
In 2003 he played a villainous role in the third installment of the Spy Kids trilogy Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over which was a huge box office success (almost 200 million worldwide). Stallone also had a cameo appearance in the 2003 French film Taxi 3 as a passenger.
Following several poorly reviewed box office flops, Stallone started to regain prominence for his supporting role in the neo-noir crime drama Shade (2003) which was a box office failure but was praised by critics. He was also attached to star and direct a film about the murder of rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls titled Notorious but the film has yet to be made due to the legal problems concerning the movie.
In 2005 he was the co-presenter of the NBC Reality television boxing series The Contender alongside Sugar Ray Leonard. That same year he also made a guest appearance in two episodes of the television series Las Vegas.
Stallone's debut as a director came in 1978 with Paradise Alley, which he also wrote and starred in. In addition, he directed Staying Alive (the sequel to Saturday Night Fever), along with Rocky II, III, IV and Balboa.
In August 2005 Stallone released his book "Sly Moves" which claimed to be a guide to fitness and nutrition as well as a candid insight into his life and works from his own perspective. The book also contained many photographs of Stallone throughout the years as well as pictures of him performing exercises.
In addition to writing all six Rocky films, Stallone also wrote Cobra, Driven, and the last Rambo film, John Rambo. He has co-written several other films, such as F.I.S.T., Rhinestone, Over the Top and the first three Rambo films. His last major success as a co-writer came with 1993's Cliffhanger.
Stallone owns shares in Planet Hollywood restaurants with Bruce Willis and formerly Arnold Schwarzenegger (who has since sold his part).
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