Burt Young, the actor who received an Oscar nomination for his role in Rocky, has passed away at the age of 83.
Renowned actor Burt Young, famous for his portrayal of Paulie Pennino in the Rocky film series, has passed away at the age of 83.
Young earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 1977 for his compelling performance as Rocky’s close friend and future brother-in-law in the iconic series, with Sylvester Stallone in the lead role.
Sylvester Stallone paid a heartfelt tribute to Young on social media, describing him as an “extraordinary man and artist” and expressing, “Both I and the world will deeply miss you.”
Born as Gerald Tommaso DeLouise in Queens, New York, this Italian-American artist had a remarkable journey. He served in the US Marine Corps during the 1950s, subsequently pursuing a career in acting, where he frequently portrayed tough, compelling characters in both television shows and movies.
Carmel Dagan of Variety remembered Young as “exceptionally prolific” and noted that he possessed a unique talent for infusing even the most unsavory characters with personality and empathy.
Young’s association with the Rocky franchise began in the inaugural 1976 film, where he played a loyal friend to Stallone’s character. His role continued to evolve in subsequent installments, ultimately becoming Rocky’s brother-in-law in Rocky II, following the boxer’s marriage to his sister. He portrayed Paulie in all six of the original Rocky films, although he did not reprise his role in the 2015 spin-off, Creed.
The Rocky series achieved widespread recognition and success, garnering ten Oscar nominations and three Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Beyond his Rocky legacy, Burt Young left his mark on the world of film with appearances in movies such as Once Upon a Time in America, Last Exit to Brooklyn, and Mickey Blue Eyes. He also graced television screens in notable series like The Sopranos, Law & Order, The Rockford Files, and MAS*H.
In the latter part of his life, Young ventured into the world of visual arts and earned acclaim as a painter, exhibiting his work in galleries across the globe.
His manager confirmed his passing on Wednesday, marking the end of a remarkable career and a lasting contribution to the world of entertainment.