Burt Young, best remembered as “Paulie” in the Rocky films, passed away on October 8th. News of Young’s passing broke last night and Rocky co-star Carl Weathers quickly posted a statement on X (formerly Twitter) reacting to the news.
“RIP, Burt Young! A beautiful and talented soul. He was such an integral part of the Rocky family. “You want the bird? Go get the bird.” Paulie will be with us forever! #BePeace”
RIP, Burt Young! A beautiful and talented soul. He was such an integral part of the Rocky family. “You want the bird? Go get the bird.” Paulie will be with us forever! #BePeace— Carl Weathers (@TheCarlWeathers) October 19, 2023
Weathers, who played the boisterous “Apollo Creed” in the Rocky franchise, starred together with Young in the first four films. The success of the films helped put both men on the map, setting them both up for loads of success in Hollywood going forward.
Carl Weathers Got the Role in Rocky by Insulting Sylvester Stallone
Weathers’ relationship with Rocky himself, Sylvester Stallone, got off on an interesting foot. The two met for the first time during Weathers’ audition for the role he would eventually become well known for. Weathers retold the story on The Rich Eisen Show back in 2015.
“I got a chance to go in and read for it with a cattle call of probably a hundred, a hundred and fifty guys. I was introduced to (Stallone) as the writer,” Weathers said. “So he comes into the room out of some vestibule somewhere and he sits down and they introduce, well, this is the writer of the screenplay.”
Stallone would act as Weathers’ scene partner during the audition, and things did not go well, according to Weathers.
“The producers and the directors are kind of leaning over to each other and then I see John Avildsen, our director, giggle a little bit. And I’m really nervous now, because I think I blew the interview, right? I blew the audition.
So I chirp out, ‘You know, if you get me a real actor I could do a lot better!’ I have no idea why they laughed, too! And Stallone looks up at me like, ‘This idiot, who’s he? Who does he think he is?’ And I tell people, I think I got the job because Sly wanted to beat the hell out of me.”
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