Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Tony Danza Reacts to Passing of ‘Rocky’ Star Burt Young

Tony Danza Reacts to Passing of ‘Rocky’ Star Burt Young

Burt Young, who stole our hearts as “Paulie” in the Rocky films, died on October 8th. He was 83 years old. The news, which broke last night, led to many fellow stars paying their respects online.

One of those stars was Tony Danza, who starred alongside Young in the 1980 made-for-TV movie Murder Can Hurt You. Danza, on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), had this to say about his former co-star…

“Terrible loss. My dear friend Burt Young. One of the greats. We’ll miss you.”

Tony Danza, Like Burt Young, Was a Boxer Prior to Hollywood

Both Tony Danza and Burt Young had short boxing careers prior to starring on the silver screen. Danza, in particular, gives boxing a lot of credit for his eventual success as an actor. More specifically, the need to choose between the two—which sent him down the correct path.

In an interview with Bloody Elbow, he elaborated.

“I come from East New York, Brooklyn, and when I was a kid in the ’50s and ’60s, fighting was like a game we played,” Danza recalled. “I had a lot of street fights when I was a kid.” Danza would eventually give pro boxing an honest shot.

“I just got hooked on it and I loved it. I thought, and you’re young and you’re searching for what might be that thing that you do for the rest of your life, and I could really punch, and I could do it. And I loved it and people were telling me I was great, so that’s why. I had 15 pro fights, I won twelve. I won all my fights by knockout. Unfortunately, I lost all my fights by knockout.”

Once he started acting, he quickly realized his boxing career and his acting career didn’t mesh well.

“My mind started to wander and I thought to myself, ‘Geez, I hope this guy doesn’t hit me’ – because I was on TV, I was worried about my face. I said, ‘Geez, I hope this guy doesn’t hit me in the nose.’ The moment my brain was saying nose, the guy hit me.”

While he won the fight, he quickly realized it was time to hang up the gloves for good.