Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Burt Young, Star of ‘Rocky’, Dead at 83

Burt Young, Star of ‘Rocky’, Dead at 83

Burt Young, best known for his role as “Paulie” in the Rocky franchise, has died at the age of 83. While his cause of death is not currently known, the New York Times is reporting that he died on October 8th.

A troublemaker in high school, Young joined the U.S. Marines before he turned 16—he lied about his actual age with the help of his father. He also boxed in the service, compiling a 32-2 record during a two-year stint in Okinawa.

His unique military and boxing background, combined with his upbringing in Queens, New York, made it easy for him to give his characters a believable edge. Along with the Rocky films, he also appeared in Chinatown, The Gambler, and The Killer Elite.

Burt Young’s First Meeting with Sylvester Stallon Was Memorable

When Young first met Sylvester Stallone, the two immediately hit it off. In an interview with The Sweet Science, he recalled their initial encounter with a smile.

“I was on the MGM lot when Sly Stallone came over and introduced himself to me, told me he wrote Rocky and said, ‘You gotta do it.’ I wanted to do it right away, but I wanted to twist their arms a little bit, not look too eager.”

“I thought the script had the cleanest street prose I’d ever read. Stallone is not only a workaholic, he’s a genius who is always looking three years ahead. He has a real eyeball for what’s going on in the world.”

The two would go on to make six Rocky films together.