(ReliableNews.org) – Born in 1940 in Queens, New York, Burt Young grew up to become a well-known character actor, bringing his talent to such works as “Chinatown,” “The Gambler,” “The Pope of Greenwich Village,” and “The Last Exit to Brooklyn.” Although Young had many credits under his acting belt, he’s probably most recognizable as Paulie, Rocky Balboa’s brother-in-law, in the “Rocky” movies. Besides fellow actors Sylvester Stallone and Tony Burton, he was the only character to return for all six movies in the franchise.
On October 18, Young’s daughter, Anne Morea Steingieser, confirmed that her father died in Los Angeles at the age of 83 on October 8. She didn’t give a cause. She told The New York Times that Young had a “deep respect for art,” alongside Hollywood filmmaker Sam Peckinpah. She called them both “mavericks and outlaws” who “understood each other.” Indeed, her father brought an “intensity and honesty” to his work that Peckinpah appreciated — demanded, in fact. Perhaps it was that talent and authenticity that landed him over 160 film and TV credits.
Young enjoyed playing a tough guy on screen, which fit in with his bulldog build, landing him parts playing a working man, street-smart detective, and mobster. But his tough guy persona wasn’t entirely an act. Young grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Queens and joined the Marine Corps when he was just 16 years old. That’s where he started boxing. Once he quit the sport, Young decided to try his hand at acting, taking instruction from acting teacher Lee Strasberg, who described the thespian as a “library of emotions.” The actor not only played in movies and TV, but also in the theater alongside such actors as Robert De Niro and Ralph Macchio.
Stallone paid tribute to his close friend on Instagram with a picture of the pair and a caption reading, “…you were an incredible man and artist, I and the world will miss you very much.”
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