Actor Burt Young, most famous for his portrayal of Paulie Pennino in the Rocky film series, has passed away at 83 years old.
Young earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 1977 for his performance as Rocky’s friend and prospective brother-in-law, a character played by Sylvester Stallone.
Stallone honored Young on social media, describing him as an “amazing man and artist.” He went on to say, “Both I and the world will deeply feel your absence.”
Born as Gerald Tommaso DeLouise in Queens, New York, Burt Young was an Italian-American who served in the US Marine Corps during the 1950s. He later pursued acting and established a career specializing in tough-guy roles on television and in films.
Variety’s Carmel Dagan remembered the actor as “incredibly prolific.” She noted that Young’s distinctive quality was his ability to bring depth and empathy to characters often considered as thugs, goons, or mugs in the roles he portrayed.
Young’s most iconic role was in the 1976 film “Rocky,” where he played a friend of Sylvester Stallone’s character. He continued to play the role of Paulie, who became Rocky’s brother-in-law when the fighter married his sister, in all six original Rocky films. However, he did not return for the 2015 spin-off film “Creed.”
“Rocky” was his most renowned work, achieving immense success in the cinema, receiving 10 Oscar nominations and three awards, including Best Picture.
Burt Young: Oscar-nominated Rocky actor dies aged 83
In addition to his work in the Rocky series, Young appeared in other films such as “Once Upon a Time in America,” “Last Exit to Brooklyn,” and “Mickey Blue Eyes.” He also made appearances in various television series like “The Sopranos,” “Law & Order,” “The Rockford Files,” and “M*A*S*H.”
After his acting career, Burt Young gained recognition as a painter, exhibiting his artwork in galleries worldwide.
His manager confirmed his passing on Wednesday.