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Burt Young, Rocky Franchise Star, Dead At 83

The world has just lost a Hollywood legend. 

As confirmed by his daughter, Anne Morea Steingieser, to The New York Times, tenured actor Burt Young died on October 18. He famously portrayed Paulie Pennino in the 1976 Sylvester Stallone-led boxing drama "Rocky" — a performance that scored him an Oscar nomination for best actor in a supporting role in 1977 — in addition to several of its big-screen sequels. At the time of this writing, the cause of his death has yet to be revealed to the public.

During his time in the Hollywood spotlight, Young appeared in numerous films and television shows of all kinds. Aside from his work in the "Rocky" franchise, he became known for efforts in films such as "Chinatown" and "Once Upon a Time in America" and on TV programs like "Walker, Texas Ranger" and "Baretta." Young also briefly worked as a writer in the late 1970s and embraced his artistic side through painting. His work has made it into galleries around the world, including Florida's Bilotta Gallery.

It goes without saying that Young was a man of many talents and that he lived an incredibly busy and eventful life.

Young lived a remarkable life

Burt Young — real name Gerald Tommaso DeLouise — was born on April 30, 1940, and grew up in Queens, New York. Before becoming a household name, he studied at New York City's Actors Studio under Lee Strasberg and served in the United States Marine Corps in the late 1950s, where he displayed his boxing skills. He shared as much with the Los Angeles Times, recalling that he won 32 of 34 fights in the USMC and all of his 14 professional bouts. However, he didn't have a strong passion for the sport, so he pursued writing and acting instead.

Young's professional acting career began in 1969 when he appeared in the uncredited role of a bartender on the television series "The Doctors." From there, he acquired big and small screen credits left and right, somehow still finding time to sharpen his painting skills. He continued to act long after he achieved worldwide fame for his "Rocky" series performances. In the TV realm, the final project he appeared in before his death was 2019's "Russian Doll," featuring him in two episodes as Joe. Meanwhile, his last non-posthumous film credit is "The Final Code" from 2021, where he plays a detective.

Evidently, Burt Young explored numerous avenues throughout his life, and he thrived in all of them. He will be sorely missed.