Knockout Facts About Sylvester Stallone

March 29, 2018 | Stephanie Kelsey

Knockout Facts About Sylvester Stallone

“No one likes to fail at anything, but I believe I'm a better person for it. I learned life's lessons. You're given certain gifts and that's what you should try to be.”

Rocky Balboa and Rambo are the two personas you think of when you hear the name Sylvester Stallone. Sure, you’ve watched the movies countless times, so you know about those characters. But what do you know about the man behind the roles? Keep reading to find out!

Sylvester Stallone Facts

42. Writing for a Fight

That first Rocky film? Stallone wrote that. In three days! He was inspired by the 1975 fight in Cleveland between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner. Not many people gave the film (which was shot in 28 days) a chance, but it won Best Picture at the Academy Awards in 1976, earned $225 million at the box office, and even scored some sequels.

Sylvester Stallone facts Rocky (1976), United Artists

41. Everything Happens for a Reason

It was a bit of a fluke that Rocky was made. Stallone had gone to an audition and mentioned that he was also a writer. The producers asked him if he had anything in the works, and Stallone said he did. He told them about Rocky and the producers were hooked!

Sylvester Stallone facts Rocky (1976), United Artists

40. Man of Bronze

There’s a giant, two-ton, 10-foot tall bronze statue of Rocky in Philadelphia that’s a major hit with tourists. But locals and art enthusiasts weren’t a fan with where it originally was put: at the top of the Philadelphia Museum of Art's steps. It got moved to the local sports arena, but ended up back at the museum, this time at the bottom of the steps.

Sylvester Stallone factsWikipedia

39. First in Class

At the 81st annual Boxing Writers Association of America’s awards dinner in Las Vegas, Stallone received their first ever award for lifetime cinematic achievement in boxing.

Sylvester Stallone factsShutterstock


38. Ring of Honor

He was also inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 2011 along with Mike Tyson. Some boxing enthusiasts weren’t exactly thrilled about this decision, as Stallone only played a boxer on the big screen and hasn’t actually fought in the ring himself.

Sylvester Stallone factsGetty Images

37. Going Ringside

On his 36th birthday in 1982, he had the chance to be a manager for the boxing match between Lee Canalito and Curtis Whitner in New Jersey. His brother, Frank, was also involved during the match: he got to be a corner man for Canalito.

Sylvester Stallone factsParadise Alley (1978), Universal Pictures

36. Paint Me Like One of Your French Girls

Stallone likes to paint oil paintings in his spare time, and Leonardo da Vinci is a personal hero of his. Two of his paintings have even earned $90,000. Another famous name he’s a fan of: Edgar Allan Poe.

Sylvester Stallone factsGetty Images

35. Bye Bye, Sly

Stallone dabbled in the magazine business for a time–a very short time. Aptly named Sly and geared towards a more middle-aged market, the magazine was released in 2005 and had everything from health tips to celebrity interviews. Too bad it only lasted four issues, though.

Sylvester Stallone facts Wikimedia Commons

34. Thanks, but No Thanks

Three years before the failed magazine, Stallone had taken a chance producing Father Lefty, a TV show he created. Although CBS did air the pilot, the show wasn’t picked up for any further episodes.

Sylvester Stallone factsShutterstock


Sign up to our newsletter.

History’s most fascinating stories and darkest secrets, delivered to your inbox daily. Making distraction rewarding since 2017.

Thank you!
Error, please try again.

33. Bulk up Like Stallone

He really wanted to make a name for himself outside the acting world. In 2004, he released his own nutrition line called InStone. It had boosters for energy and testosterone and also had food like protein pudding and protein shakes. It seems like it also didn’t last–a quick Google search turns up very little chance to buy these products.

Sylvester Stallone Introduces New Nutritional Supplement Line.Getty Images


32. Three Musketeers

Along with fellow actors Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Stallone was a part-owner of restaurant chain Planet Hollywood. Oddly enough, Stallone turned down the lead role in Die Hard, which would go to Willis.

Sylvester Stallone factsFlickr, Alquiler de Coches

31. Turn Down for What

That wasn’t the only big role Stallone has turned down. He said no to Superman, which went to Christopher Reeve; the lead in Beverly Hills Cop, which went to Eddie Murphy; and Richard Gere lucked out when Stallone turned down Pretty Woman.

Sylvester Stallone factsFlickr, PSParrot

30. Darth, He is Not Your Son

Stallone tested for the Han Solo role in 1977’s Star Wars film but didn’t make the cut. He explains, “when I stood in front of George Lucas he didn't look at me once. Well, obviously I'm not the right type... It all worked out for the best since I don't look good in spandex holding a ray gun!”

Harrison Ford factsStar Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Lucasfilm

29. Greasy Gere

One actor who he’s not exactly friends with: Richard Gere. There was an incident involving greasy chicken covered with mustard on the set of the movie they were filming, The Lords of Flatbush. After a warning from Stallone, Gere’s food dripped on Stallone’s leg and Stallone responded with an elbow to Gere’s head. “The director had to make a choice: one of us had to go, one of us had to stay. Richard was given his walking papers, and to this day, seriously dislikes me.”

Sylvester Stallone factsThe Lords of Flatbush (1974), Columbia Pictures

28. Not Just a Tough Guy

In an effort to get away from his typical macho characters, he signed on for the 1997 film Cop Land to showcase some of his more serious acting abilities. Incredibly enough, he only earned $60,000 for his role.

Sylvester Stallone factsCop Land (1997), Miramax

27. Politically Inclined

Stallone is a big supporter of the Republican Party, and even donated $15,000 to Schwarzenegger’s re-election campaign for Governor of California in 2006. In spite of that, he actually supported Democratic President Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial and even held a fundraiser for the Democrats at his home. “I'm not right wing, I'm not left wing,” he has said. “I love my country.”

Sylvester Stallone factsWikipedia


26. Can’t Buy Him Guns

It seems almost contradictory considering there’s a lot of gun use in many of his films, but Stallone called for a ban on guns in the US in 1998 after one of his friends, actor Phil Hartman, was shot and killed.

Sylvester Stallone factsCop Land (1997), Miramax

25. Keeping the Faith

He’s had an on-again, off-again relationship with the Catholic Church. He was baptized and raised as a strict Catholic, but found himself turning away from the religion once his acting career took off. He rediscovered Catholicism in 1996 when one of his daughters was born, however, he described himself as spiritual in a 2010 interview with GQ magazine, adding that he wasn’t part of an organized church institution. 

Sylvester Stallone factsShutterstock

24. Man's Best Friend

Things were pretty rough before Rocky. Stallone had to sell his dog, a bull mastiff, for $50 because he couldn’t afford to keep him. But, just a week later, he had made enough money from selling the Rocky script to buy his beloved pet back. That’s where things get really interesting. Stallone had sold his dog to a little person named Little Jimmy. When Stallone went to buy his dog back, Little Jimmy got a little angry, and even wanted to fight Stallone. “He wanted to fight me and said he was gonna kill me...I couldn’t fight him, they’d arrest me, so I offered to pay double.” Stallone had to offer $3,000 and a small role in the Rocky film, but he got his dog back.

Sylvester Stallone factsRocky (1976), United Artists

23. Third Time’s the Charm

Some women still think he’s handsome–he’s been married three times! He married his current wife, Jennifer Flavin, back in 1997, but they had been dating for some years prior, and Stallone even broke up with her in an uncool way in 1994. He sent her a “Dear Jane” letter by FedEx! But just a year later they got back together. All’s well that ends well?

Sylvester Stallone factsGetty Images

22. The Time Is Right

You’ve heard of “case of the angles”, but what about “case of time”? Stallone has a certain time of day when he thinks he looks his best. “I'd say between 3 pm and 8 pm I look great. After that it's all downhill. Don't photograph me in the morning or you're gonna get Walter Brennan.”

Sylvester Stallone factsCobra (1986), Warner Bros.

21. "S" Marks the Name

He has five kids with two of his wives, and their names all start with the letter "S." There’s Sage, Seargeoh, Sophia, Sistine, and Scarlet. His sons even had the chance to play his on-screen son in two different Rocky movies–Seargeoh in Rocky II in 1979 and Sage in Rocky V in 1990. Sadly, Sage passed away in 2012 in Los Angeles.

Sylvester Stallone factsGetty Images


20. The Need for Love

Up until he was about five, Stallone spent a lot of time in the foster system. His parents fought a lot and ignored Stallone and his brother. He’s said that his attempts to get his many foster parents to show affection towards him was one reason he got into acting.

Sylvester Stallone factsShutterstock

19. Failure to Launch

A young Sly thought himself a superhero, and, a la Clark Kent, he wore a superhero costume under his regular clothes. He tried jumping out a window once to test his flight skills, deciding to use an umbrella to help slow down his fall. It didn’t work, and he broke his collarbone as a result.

Sylvester Stallone factsWikimedia Commons

18. Tough Guy, Kind Heart

He may not be a superhero in the comic book sense of the word, but he did help raise funds and awareness for the city of Sderot in Israel in 2008. Along with Paula Abdul and Jon Voight, Stallone took part in a concert for the city, which had been hit with ongoing Kassam rockets–over 7,000 in a seven-year period.

Sylvester Stallone factsWikimedia Commons

17. The Old Case of Use What You’ve Got

He was bullied in school, so he decided he needed to bulk up. Because the weights were too expensive, he got a little creative with what he used: car parts from the junkyard. He also used cinderblocks attached to a pole to build his muscles.

Sylvester Stallone factsRocky IV (1985), United Artists

16. Tearing It Up

Nowadays, Stallone’s body is built, let’s face it. In his prime, he claimed he could bench press upwards of 400lbs and squat 500lbs. However, in a bench-pressing contest, he tore one of his pectoral muscles and required over 160 stitches to fix it up. That’s why you’ll see one half of his chest has more veins than the other (if, you know, you notice these kinds of things).

Sylvester Stallone factsRocky II (1979), United Artists

15. Risky Business

During the filming of Rocky IV, Stallone wanted Dolph Lundgren to punch him as hard as he could–and he did. Stallone ended up in intensive care as a result. He also wound up with a broken neck during filming of The Expendables after shooting a scene with Steve Austin. That injury was fixed with a metal plate. Yikes! “I abused my body so much throughout my career that I am literally held together by glue,” he’s said. “The stuff I took thickens the bones and reinforces the tendons.”

Sylvester Stallone factsWikimedia Commons

14. Can’t Cut This

How much money would it take for you to cut your hair for a commercial? Apparently, there was no amount of money that would make Stallone chop his locks back in 1988. He was offered four million dollars to do a beer commercial under the stipulation that he cut his hair, and then was offered another million after he declined. But still, he wouldn’t budge.

Sylvester Stallone factsFlickr, Sylvester Stallone

13. Owning Up

Stallone recently faced charges in Australia over importing human-growth hormones that were banned in that country. He hadn’t shown valid prescriptions for the 48 bottles of the HGH drug Jintropin. He pled guilty to the charges and ended up paying over $11,000 in fines and court costs.

Sylvester Stallone factsShutterstock

12. Packing on the Pancakes

He clearly doesn’t hold anything back when he’s cast for a role. For his part in Cop Land, he had to put a good 40lbs of weight on him, which he accomplished through pancakes. “These pancakes were so big,” he said of the local restaurant, “you could put an axle in them and drive home.” The added weight also had its pitfalls: his blood pressure rose and he suffered from back issues.

Sylvester Stallone factsCop Land (1997), Miramax

11. Lion Pee and Scalping, Oh My!

Stallone did some odd jobs over the years just to get by. He worked at the Central Park Zoo where he cleaned out the lion’s cages–with one lion even peeing on him. He was also an usher at Walter Reade cinemas, where he was able to snag some tickets and sell them on the side. He even tried scalping tickets to the actual Walter Reade once, who, dare we say, was less than impressed.

Sylvester Stallone factsWikimedia Commons

10. Just a Quick Hello

Not exactly an odd job, but Stallone guest appeared on the Mexican Big Brother VIP 2 in 2003. He was in the country promoting his movie Spy Kids 3: Game Over and got the invite to appear, though just for a few minutes.

Sylvester Stallone factsWikimedia Commons

9. They Probably Should Have Talked About That First

Tyrone Stallone: Kind of just rolls off the tongue! Stallone's mother, Jackie, was a big fan of film actor Tyrone Power and intended to name her son after him. After his birth, she discovered on the birth certificate that her husband had changed the name to Sylvester.

Sylvester Stallone factsGetty Images

8. Safe to Say He Showed Them

School wasn’t exactly his thing. By the time he turned 13, he had already been kicked out of 14 schools for being antisocial and because of his violent behavior. He was voted most likely to end up in an electric chair at one point, too. His mom ended up shipping him off to school in Switzerland so that he could continue his education.

Sylvester Stallone factsPxHere

7. School of Life

In 1999, he reasoned that all of his life experiences and acting credits be put towards the credits he still needed to graduate college. The request was granted, and the president of the University of Miami gave Stallone his degree for Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Movie Industry factsGetty Images

6. Fear-Fetching

Even Stallone has his fears, and he’s got to live them out on screen. His fear of heights caught up to him while filming Cliffhanger, where part of the shoot took place in the Dolomite mountains. He also had to address his claustrophobia for Daylight, where he did a lot of filming in a small and enclosed tunnel.

Sylvester Stallone factsCliffhanger (1993), Canal+

5. Stop! Don’t Watch That!

If you asked him, the actor would say his worst movie was Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Of it, he said “It’s one of the worst films in the entire solar system, including alien productions we’ve never seen…a flatworm could write a better script.” Kind of makes me want to go watch it now.

Sylvester Stallone factsStop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992), Universal Pictures

4. King of the Razzies

As of 2004, Stallone held quite the dubious honor–most nominations for Razzie Awards. He’s even won 10 times, including for Worst Actor, Worst Actor of the Decade, and Worst Actor of the Century. Harsh! He also has the longest unbroken streak of nominations, from 1985 to 1997.

The World Premiere Of Marvel Studios' 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.'Getty Images

3. Catch Him in His Birthday Suit

In 1970, six years before starring in Rocky, Stallone starred in a softcore porn called The Party at Kitty and Stud’s. He was 23 at the time and was paid $200 to bare it all as “The Italian Stallion.” After the release of Rocky, the adult film was renamed The Italian Stallion.

Sylvester Stallone factsRocky (1976), United Artists

2. Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Stallone has said he really didn’t have a choice when it came to doing the erotic film. He was homeless at the time, sleeping at the New York City Port Authority bus terminal for three weeks. He saw the casting notice and went for it. “It was either do that movie or rob someone, because I was at the end–the very end–of my rope.”

Sylvester Stallone factsWikipedia

1. Born This Way

The actor’s deep, slurring voice is highly recognizable, and there’s actually a medical reason behind it. The lower left side of his face was permanently paralyzed because of complications when he was born, which is also why he has an almost crooked smile. The doctor accidentally severed one of the nerves in his cheek with his forceps. “I'm not handsome in the classical sense,” he’s said. “The eyes droop, the mouth is crooked, the teeth aren't straight, the voice sounds like a Mafioso pallbearer, but somehow it all works.”

Sylvester StalloneGetty Images

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 56, 7

More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Dark Family Secrets

Dark Family Secrets Exposed

Nothing stays hidden forever—and these dark family secrets are proof that when the truth comes out, it can range from devastating to utterly chilling.
April 8, 2020 Samantha Henman

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

Madame de Pompadour Facts

Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
December 7, 2018 Kyle Climans

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

These People Got Genius Revenges

When someone really pushes our buttons, we'd like to think that we'd hold our head high and turn the other cheek, but revenge is so, so sweet.
April 22, 2020 Scott Mazza

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.

Catherine of Aragon Facts

Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but very few people know her even darker history.
June 7, 2018 Christine Tran

Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.