He earned his first role in a soft-core pornography film, ‘The Party at Kitty and Stud’s’, in 1970. Later in life, Stallone claimed that he did the film out of desperation, because he needed the money. The same year, he appeared in the movie, ‘Rebel’, which made him a national star.
He also starred in the off-Broadway stage piece, ‘Score’, which ran for 23 performances in 1971. The same was later made into a film by Radley Metzger. He also appeared in Woody Allen’s ‘Bananas’ and the thriller ‘Klute’ as an extra.
In 1975, he was seen in the Jack Lemmon film, ‘The Prisoner of Second Avenue’ and he also played supporting roles in the films, ‘Farewell, My Lovely’, ‘Capone’ and ‘Death Race 2000’.
The year 1976 brought with it a lot of promise and hope for Stallone as he starred in his first breakthrough film, ‘Rocky’, an action-drama feature, for which he also wrote the script. The movie is considered one of his most commercially successful movies till date.
After swooning in the success of ‘Rocky’, he made his directorial debut in 1978 for the film, ‘Paradise Alley’. The same year, he played a role in the film, ‘F.I.S.T’, a film based on the life of James Hoffa.
In 1979, he wrote and starred in the sequel of ‘Rocky’ titled ‘Rocky II’, which also went on to become a sleeper hit. Two years later, he starred in ‘Escape to Victory’ and ‘Nighthawks’.
After the success of ‘Rocky’, he launched another action venture, starring as the Vietnam War veteran, ‘John Rambo’ in the film, ‘First Blood’ in 1982. This went on to become both a critical and profitable hit at the box-office. However the sequels for the film, ‘Rambo: First Blood Part II’ and ‘Rambo III’, were met with much less success.
In 1982, he continued with his ‘Rocky’ franchise and came up with ‘Rocky III’, followed by ‘Rocky IV’, three years later. In order to be able to do full justice to the role, he worked out and embarked on a demanding training program, after which he became an extremely popular fitness symbol.
In 1987, he decided to break away from his ‘tough nut’ roles and starred in the film, ‘Over the Top’, which was a different genre of film. However, the film did not do well at the box-office and was received poorly by critics. Two years later, he once again starred in a different genre of film in ‘Tango and Cash’, which was successful.
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In 1990, he starred in the fifth installment of the ‘Rocky’ series titled, ‘Rocky V’. The film did poorly at the box office and it was intended to be the last film in the franchise. In the next two years, he tried his hand at comedy but failed miserably in ‘Oscar’ and ‘Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot’.
He starred in the successful film, ‘Cliffhanger’, which brought back the faith of his fans in his acting abilities. The same year, he starred in the futuristic film, ‘Demolition Man’.
From 1994 to 1996, he appeared in a string of hit films including, ‘The Specialist’, ‘Judge Dredd’ and ‘Assassins’.
In 1997, he appeared in the low-budget film, ‘Cop Land’ opposite Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta, which was an average hit at the box-office. The next year, he lent his voice for the animated film, ‘Antz’.
From 2000 to 2005, he was seen in the films, ‘Get Carter’, ‘Driven’, ‘Avenging Angel’, ‘D-Tox’, ‘Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over’, ‘Taxi 3’ and ‘Shade’. In 2005, he was also the co-presenter for the boxing series, ‘The Contender’.
He took a break in 2005 and served as the host and mentor to contenders participating in the reality show, ‘The Contender’.
After a break from films, he made a comeback in Hollywood with the sixth Rocky instalment, ‘Rocky Balboa’, which became a critical sleeper hit, in 2006. Two years later, he released the fourth instalment of the ‘Rambo’ series, simply titled as ‘Rambo’. This movie also became equally successful.
He appeared in a small cameo in the Bollywood film, ‘Kambakkht Ishq’ opposite Kareena Kapoor and Akshaye Kumar in 2009. The next year, he starred in one of the biggest hits of the year, ‘The Expendables’.
In 2012, the sequel for the movie, ‘The Expendables 2’ was also released. The subsequent year, he starred in the action film, ‘Bullet to the Head’, which is based on the novel, ‘Du Plomb Dans la Tete’.
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Awards & Achievements
In 1977, he won a David di Donatello Award for ‘Best Foreign Actor’ for ‘Rocky’.
In 1977, he won the KCFCC Award for ‘Best Actor’ for the film, ‘Rocky’.
In 1979, he won the ShoWest Convention Award for ‘Star of the Year’.
He earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in 1984.
In 1997, he was presented the Stockholm International Film Festival Award for ‘Best Actor’ for ‘Cop Land’.
In 2004, he won the Golden Camera Award for ‘Best International Actor’.
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He was honored with the ‘Golden Eye for Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the Zurich Film Festival.
He was presented the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the Hollywood Film Festival in 2010.