(NEW YORK) — Yo, Adrian! It’s Rocky’s birthday!
Sylvester Stallone celebrates his 70th birthday today. It’s already been a great year for Sly: He won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar — for the first time in 40 years — for reprising one of his signature characters, Rocky Balboa, in Creed.
Stallone broke out as a major star with the original Rocky, released in 1976. He wrote the script for the boxing drama and famously refused to allow anyone else to play the character. It’s hard to argue with the decision — Rocky was nominated for 10 Oscars, including for Stallone’s performance and screenplay. It won three categories, among them best picture.
Stallone went on to make five more Rocky movies before reviving the Italian Stallion in last year’s Creed.
Stallone is also associated with another tough-guy cultural icon: the Vietnam War vet John Rambo, who was introduced in the 1982 movie First Blood. The Rambo franchise has had three sequels, the last of which opened in 2008. The character of Rambo became a symbol of ’80s America during Ronald Reagan’s presidency, and Reagan sometimes referred to Rambo in speeches as a metaphor for his foreign policy.
In addition, the word “Rambo” is in the Oxford English dictionary, defined as “a Vietnam War veteran represented as macho, self sufficient and bent on violent retribution.”
Along the way, Stallone has headlined popular movies like Cliffhanger and Demolition Man. More recently, he’s written and starred in three Expendables movies, whose casts are made up of various ’80s and ’90s action stars.
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