Burt Young, the actor who played Paulie Pennino in the Rocky films, has died at the age of 83. He passed away on October 8, 2023, in Los Angeles, according to his daughter, Anne Morea Steingieser.
Young was born Gerald Tommaso DeLouise on April 30, 1940, in Queens, New York. He served in the US Marine Corps from 1957 to 1959 and won 32 of 34 boxing bouts. He studied acting at the Actors Studio with Lee Strasberg and made his film debut in 1970.
He appeared in hundreds of roles on film and television, but he was most famous for his portrayal of Rocky Balboa’s friend and brother-in-law, Paulie, in six Rocky movies from 1976 to 2006. He received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 1977 for his role as Paulie in the first Rocky film, which won the Oscar for Best Picture.
He also starred in other acclaimed films such as Chinatown, Once Upon a Time in America, and The Pope of Greenwich Village. He made guest appearances on TV shows such as MAS*H, The Rockford Files, Baretta, Law & Order, Walker, Texas Ranger, All In The Family, Miami Vice, and The Sopranos. He played Bobby Baccalieri’s father, who was dying of cancer and came out of retirement to execute a hit on his godson, in The Sopranos episode “Another Toothpick” in 2001.
Young was also a talented painter and exhibited his artwork in galleries around the world. He married Gloria DeLouise in 1961 and they had a daughter named Anne. Gloria died in 1974. He remarried Leidy Figueroa, a Peruvian woman who met him while visiting another inmate at the prison where he was filming. They had a son named Dushyant.
Young is survived by his daughter, his son-in-law, and his grandson. His fans and colleagues have expressed their condolences and tributes on social media.
Burt Young was a versatile and charismatic actor who left a lasting impression on the audience with his memorable performances. He will be missed by many.