The beloved American actor Burt Young, who was a former boxer and rose to fame with his role as Sylvester Stallone’s loyal friend in the immensely popular Rocky film series, has passed away at the age of 83.
Stallone, renowned for his portrayal of the boxer Rocky Balboa in the iconic Hollywood franchise, took to Instagram on Wednesday to pay tribute to his “close friend” Young, describing him as an “extraordinary individual” and a remarkable artist.
“The world and I will deeply miss you… Rest in peace,” penned the Rocky star on Instagram.
Young’s daughter, Anne Morea Steingieser, confirmed his demise to The New York Times. The publication reported that he passed away on October 8 in Los Angeles.
Young, originally from Queens, New York, had a brief career as a professional boxer before venturing into acting, where he utilized his rugged and tough persona to create a successful career that spanned over 50 years.
Following numerous minor roles in television and film, which included his appearance in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown, Young was cast as the stout character Paulie in the 1976 drama Rocky, a film written by Stallone and directed by John G. Avildsen.
In addition to the film’s tremendous success at the box office, Young earned an Academy Award nomination in 1977 in the category of Best Supporting Actor.
Carl Weathers, who portrayed Apollo Creed, Rocky Balboa’s rival-turned-trainer in the franchise, expressed his affection for Young, referring to him as “a magnificent and gifted soul.”
“He was an integral part of the Rocky family… Paulie will always be remembered,” tweeted the actor on X, formerly Twitter.
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