Hollywood mourns the loss of a true legend today as news breaks of the passing of Burt Young, the iconic actor best remembered for his Oscar-nominated portrayal of Paulie Pennino, Sylvester Stallone’s loyal sidekick in the legendary “Rocky” series. Young, aged 83, left an indelible mark on the world of cinema with his remarkable talent and unforgettable performances.

The heartbreaking news was confirmed by Burt Young’s daughter, Anne Morea Steingieser, as reported by The New York Times. While the world comes to terms with this profound loss, our thoughts are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time.

Burt Young’s journey to stardom was one that began with remarkable serendipity. He once humorously revealed, “I was the only actor that didn’t audition in the first ‘Rocky,’ and I got the most money for it.” Little did he know that this role would catapult him into the annals of film history, earning him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor in the critically acclaimed 1976 film, “Rocky.”

Even though some critics may have had mixed opinions about the film, Young’s performance as Paulie Pennino stood out as a testament to his acting prowess. He masterfully portrayed a character who, beneath his rough exterior, had an endearing sensitivity that resonated with audiences worldwide. This role became his signature, one that he would revisit five more times in the “Rocky” series, culminating in his appearance in “Rocky Balboa” in 2006. The character of Paulie may have left us in 2012, but Young’s enduring impact on the franchise remains timeless.

Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young’s close friend and co-star in the “Rocky” series, paid heartfelt tribute to the late actor on Instagram, writing, “To my Dear Friend, BURT YOUNG, you were an incredible man and artist. I and the world will miss you very much…RIP.” It’s a testament to the deep bond they shared both on and off-screen.

Burt Young’s life journey began in Queens in 1940, marked by a series of intriguing anecdotes and controversies. Raised in Corona, he was sent outside his neighborhood for schooling in an attempt to keep him away from the streets. However, Young’s indomitable spirit led him to enlist in the Marines at the tender age of 16, thanks to his father’s cunning deception regarding his age. During his time in the Marines from 1957 to 1959, Young discovered his love for boxing, eventually enjoying a brief professional career with an approximate record of 17-1, though the exact number varied in his own accounts.

Even his last name, Young, was a topic of debate, as he adopted it when he decided to pursue an acting career. He spent two formative years studying under the legendary Lee Strasberg in his late twenties, honing his craft and preparing for the journey that would make him a household name.

Burt Young’s incredible talent was not confined to the “Rocky” series alone. With over 160 film and television credits to his name, his versatility as an actor shone through in each role he undertook. He left an indelible mark in films such as “Chinatown” and “Once Upon a Time in America,” showcasing his ability to seamlessly transition between diverse characters and genres.

As we bid farewell to Burt Young, we remember a remarkable actor whose contribution to the world of cinema will be celebrated for generations to come. His portrayal of Paulie Pennino in “Rocky” will forever remain etched in the hearts of moviegoers, a testament to his unique talent and ability to breathe life into his characters. Burt Young’s legacy lives on, as his body of work continues to inspire and captivate audiences around the world.