How much is Sylvester Stallone worth?
|Net Worth:||$350 Million|
|Date of Birth:||July 6, 1946 (age 76)|
|Country:||United States of America|
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.77 m )|
“When you’re scared, when you’re hanging on, when life is hurting you, then you’re going to see what you’re really made of.” Sylvester Stallone
About Sylvester Stallone
One of the greatest movie stars and screenwriters of all time Sylvester Stallone did not have a sudden or likely rise to the top. No, that isn’t the story at all. In fact that seldom happens and if at all a person who shoots to the top without the proper foundations will always fall. But that didn’t happen to Stallone because behind every victory one can examine the mechanics that made it happen.
Growing up with immigrant parents who managed to move to America between the two world wars, life was tough. But for Sylvester it was only just getting started.
American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter Sylvester Stallone has an estimated net worth of $350 million dollars, as of 2023. In 1976, Stallone played his self-created role as boxer Rocky Balboa in the first film of the successful Rocky series.
Due to complications at birth, and the in-expertise of some of the doctors that were delivering him he suffered damage to nerves in his face that never fully recovered. Because of that, the left side of his face, his lips, chin, and parts of his tongue are paralyzed. That is why he sometimes can be heard speaking in a sluggish trademark Stallone way. Nowadays this is great and we all fall into a trance whenever he begins to talk, but nobody knows how much adversities like this hurt him and began to forge him early on. After all, an actor who can’t even talk clearly, who would invest in that?
The truth is though people who suffer adversity early on and have to triumph over bullies and self doubt, will invariably go on to perform far better in life than their mollycoddled counterparts.
In the case of Sylvester Stallone, the saying that “The night is darkest before the dawn” is right. After getting just a few small parts, and having to work days as a zoo cleaner, he attended a Muhammad Ali fight. It was at that fight that he was struck by an idea. A story about a young uneducated but kind-hearted Italian-American kid who through sheer drive and perseverance gets a shot at theworld heavyweight championship.He went straight home after the fight and began working on it. Putting together the storyline and script and soon he had it. Rocky 1 was born. A movie that would later become synonymous with Sylvester Stallone and pave his way to a movie franchise around the script, and two more later on.
As crazy as his idea to pitch a movie script sounded, Nobody could tell him any different. He was a man possessessed and worked diligently on it night after night month after month. And then, then he was ready.
Finally satisfied with his creation there was the hard problem that he purposefully didn’t look at while writing. Instead he poured his creative talent into it and when it was finally ready began pounding pavement to make his script a real-life movie in reality. Film studios are notoriously hard to pitch new movies to. At the end of the day they’re a business though and the idea of another studio beating them to the punch didn’t sound pretty at all. But a zoo keeper? Some bit part punk who had never seen the inside of an office before? It was a hard sell.
The only problem was for the studios who looked at it, it was a hard script to shoot down as well. It had all the elements of a successful movie including an already established fan base of boxing fans as well as a well worked out plot line. Still in the end all the major studios ignored it. Partly it seems because Sylvester Stallone also wanted to play the lead character, Rocky Balboa, himself. Which is not normal for the writer of the movie.
Producers and other executives at the time didn’t see Stallone in the role. They mentioned big names like Burt Reynolds or Robert Redford for the part, but Stallone was adamant that it was his script and it was him who would be best for the part. Perhaps if he wavered then a big studio would have accepted it, Stallone would have likely been sidelined though and only received a small cut of the profits. Instead he persisted, and like a character out of a Napoleon Hill story Sylvester Stallone continued until he got what he wanted.
Finally a small production company, Chartoff-Winkler Productions, agreed to make the movie and on Stallone’s terms. It was the start of great things for everybody involved, but nobody could see that yet.
All Sylvester Stallone needed was one shot he felt. And so he put himself forward even before some of the top names in Hollywood at the time and turned down offers that could sideline him in the future, instead marching on until he finally got what he wanted. That took courage.
Finally in 1976 the movie was released and like the promotion of a real life bout there was excitement and anticipation surrounding it. Amazingly everything had fallen together perfectly and every scene in the movie flowed effortlessly putting the viewer in a trance like state for two hours and leaving them thrilled at the end. Not only was the movie exciting it was moving and taught the watcher to never let go of your dreams and work everyday to achieve them. Just like Stallone had done in real life, to sell the producers on the movie in the first place.
Rocky was nominated for two Oscars, one for Best Original Screenplay and the other for The Best Lead Performance. Demonstrating that Stallone had hit the nail on the head with both his writing and his acting. Producing on a budget of less than $1 million (close to $5 million today) the movie went on to become thehighest-grossing film of 1976, banking $225million in global box office earnings. Or over $1 billion dollars adjusted for inflation.
Since Rocky was released in 1976 there have been eight sequels:Rocky II(1979),Rocky III(1982),Rocky IV(1985),Rocky V(1990),Rocky Balboa(2006),Creed(2015),Creed II(2018), andCreed III(2022). Stallone has played the role of Rocky in the first eight films, and wrote six, co-wrote two, and directed four of the six titular installments. The franchise has grossed morethan $1.7 billionat the worldwide box office.
Note that many of those millions were earned at a time when $1 million was worth four of five times more than it is worth today. So we’re talking about a multibillion dollar franchise after adjusting for inflation.
In the later movies starting in 2015, the Creed movies, Sylvester Stallone plays an older Rocky Balboa and the story is based on the son of Rocky’s first rival, Apollo Creed, played by Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed.
Incredibly, in 1982, the same year as Rocky III came out. Sylvester Stallone released the first movie of another movie franchise with the Rambo movies. Nobody thought that was going to happen. Not many people in the business wanted that to happen jealousy is everywhere for a man on the rise.
The Rambo movies followed the life of Vietnam War veteran John Rambo. Rambo’s previous military experience traumatized him but also gave him superior military skills. Skills that he uses tofight corruption, including dirtypolice officers, enemy troops anddangerous drug cartels.
It was a huge success despite the obstacles grossing almost $900 million combined, as well as giving Stallone even greater worldwide recognition and fame. The Rambo movies are praised as some of the best action movies ever made. Always the worker, the passionate creator, Sylvester Stallone was making movies almost every year. Of course the ’90s and the 2000s weren’t as successful as the ’70s and the ’80s but for a while there he was likely the biggest name in the business.
Just when it seemed his career was slowing down, Sylvester rebounded with yet another movie franchise, The Expendables in the 2010s. This franchise is a throwback to his Rambo days. It stars him and various other action stars from the 80s and 90s. The star-studded cast includes Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Landgren, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, and even has appearances from Mickey Rourke, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford. If there is one person who can get the biggest names of Hollywood to show up for one of his creations, it’s Sylvester Stallone.
It also cast three-time UFC Heavyweight Champion and two-time UFC Light heavyweight Champion, Randy Couture.
As with Rocky and Rambo, the Expendables franchise has been another major hit grossing over $900 million dollars at the global box office.
The Italian Stallion
The road to success for Sylvester Stallone was long and it was challenging. Once he moved to New York, he struggled to find any acting work at all. The only work that he got during that time was a softcore pornographic romance movie called The Party at Kitty and Stud’s (1970).
In fact Sylvester Stallone stared in a couple of movies at that time under the nickname “the Italian Stallion”. He got paid $200 dollars for two days’ work, which in the early 1970s and for Stallone at the time, was a lot.
At one point in his life he slept in a New York bus station, homeless and desperate.
“I was broke and basically sleeping in the Port Authority bus station for three weeks straight. I read in a trade paper about this film [The Party at Kitty and Studs, 1970] that was payingUS$100a day—for aUS$100a day I would wreak havoc. Instead of doing something desperate, I worked for two days forUS$200and got myself out of the bus station.” Sylvester Stallone
Desperation is what drove him to appear in the softcore romance movie but it also shows his resolve. This isn’t a guy who has been handed anything in life. No way. This is a man who found himself in some of the most dire circumstances a young actor can find themselves in. Just like his character Rocky Balboa in his first movie, Stallone’s story is one of rags to riches finally achieving the American Dream.
At the time of his deep struggles, he met a girl and together they supported each other by working odd jobs and working on their film careers in any way that they could. It was a day to day struggle just to survive and when acting work became more and more scarce he put that time into developing his characters and learning everything he could to perfect his craft. He knew if he just kept on going something would come up, at least that is what he would tell himself to keep him going on those difficult days.
The truth is though, for the young Sylvester Stallone there was nowhere else for him to turn no place that he could run and hide. Only every minute of every day that he could optimize and develop to become what he saw himself to be. Greatness in the making. In many ways having less options was actually a blessing in disguise. The paradox of choice means that when we are presented with too many options it can actually make life harder. But by Stallone limiting his choices to acting and writing and saying No to anything else, it put him through the worst times but resulted in the best. Whimsical people don’t get far. Those who “burn the boats” behind them leaving them no escape aside through victory, will prevail.
Life can answer with some of the hardest circumstances and experiences but they are all there to set you up and put you together to achieve the substance of your mind’s creations.
In those days Stallone spent a lot of time in the library, he always loved to read. He enjoyed the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, who he says was a great influence on him at the time. Reading in and of itself improves concentration and the topics that Stallone chose also improved his skills as a story teller. There is also a type of resilience that a reader builds, the mind strengthens in ways unlike almost any other activity I know.
In 1972, Stallone needed that resilience more than ever. He was tested like no other time in his life. He couldn’t even get a bit part or even as an Italian extra in the now-classic, all-time great movie The Godfather. Likely because Stallone’s natural star power was too great for some bit part and there were no available roles for someone like him, but Sylvester didn’t realize that at the time and being offered nothing. No opportunity to be in the film, beat him down and it took a fighter to rebuild and recover. Fortunately for Sylvester Stallone, that is exactly what he is.
He got back on his feet, went for a run and cleared it out of his system because one doesn’t look at the shots that are missed, only at what is to be won.
The success of Sylvester Stallone is such an unlikely story. Born with facial functionality difficulties would seem to count you out as an actor altogether, but this guy goes on to becoming one of the biggest movie stars the world has ever seen?
Sylvester Stallone isn’t your typical person. Sometimes there’s a guy who just won’t quit. Straight up you tell him “there is nothing for you Sylvester, so…” and point toward the door and two weeks later he is back and better than ever. Some would call him a workaholic but what’s a workaholic? Sylvester Stallone is passionate about doing what he wants to do and nobody could tell him any different. If you love to do something and there are viable career options in that space then don’t worry and forget about people labeling you a “workaholic” because if you are doing what you love to do it is not work at all.
Sylvester worked every part of himself like a warrior preparing for battle. He trained his body and soon got in his best shape ever, ready. And as it would happen he was already in shape to play Rocky Balboa, a character based around his own life in the first place.
Remember there is no such thing as “luck” as if “some people just get lucky” and others don’t. This is not true. Luck is when opportunity meets preparation. The “unlucky ones” are actually just people who didn’t cultivate the faith to prepare for something that they couldn’t yet see. Too bad, because with that attitude you’ll get nowhere in life. Life requires of you to prepare for things that you can’t see. And work everyday toward bringing your dreams into reality through actual practice and hard work. If you get it right you’ll find yourself jumping out of bed every morning anyway. You’ll end up enjoying every moment of it. Even if the hard times are enjoyed retroactively.
When nobody wanted to give him a role, even as an extra, Sylvester wrote a script himself. Rocky.
That script was not only a foundation of his future success which he could build upon but also access to the kinds of people who did accept him, away from the cold hard streets of New York City.
You see, as you begin to self develop you begin to glow in a way that actually causes others around you to fear. They see you are going places well before you ever could. And based on this shovel adversity on you at every turn. Fortunately the adversity you get from these people as they try and shut down your every opportunity actually forges you in ways that you couldn’t image you ever needed. But to become the best you need transformation, and transformation takes heat and bashing. Like a steelworker forging and making a sword, one is shaped by circumstances that feel like unnecessary torture but turn out to just be the way greatness is forged.
Despite every obstacle put in his way, natural or purposefully enforced by other people. Sylvester Stallone persevered. It is that perseverance that is key because as Napoleon Hill says in his book, quoting Vince Lombardi, “a quitter never wins and a winner never quits.”
Eventually a person like this succeeds. And forget about it, jealous people reveal themselves on you as they try and make you fail.
Sylvester Stallone changed what people thought was possible in the movie business. Born with speech difficulties he was able to exert his will through passion and determination, eventually achieving success likely beyond any of his wildest dreams.
He created two of the most iconic movie characters of all time, Rocky Balboa and John Rambo. And he did it when nobody believed that he could. Even with Rambo, “sorry nobody gets lucky twice, kid”. But he prevailed anyway. And today, when we think about action movies, Sylvester Stallone immediately comes to mind. That is the power of a man who won’t take no for an answer.