Burt Young was an American actor, author, and painter who was famous for his role as Paulie Pennino in the Rocky films. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the first Rocky film in 1976. He also appeared in many other movies and TV shows, such as Chinatown, The Pope of Greenwich Village, and The Sopranos.
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Early Life and Career
- Burt 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.
Rocky Fame and Oscar Nomination
- Burt Young played Paulie Pennino, the friend and brother-in-law of Rocky Balboa, in six Rocky films from 1976 to 2006.
- He received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor for his role as Paulie in the first Rocky film, which won the best picture award.
- He became a popular character actor who portrayed rough-edged working-class Italian-Americans.
Other Films and TV Shows
- Burt Young starred in many other films, such as Chinatown (1974), The Gambler (1974), The Killer Elite (1975), Convoy (1978), Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Last Exit to Brooklyn (1990), Mickey Blue Eyes (1999), Transamerica (2005), and Bottom of the 9th (2019).
- He also 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.
Personal Life and Death
- Burt Young 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.
- He was also a talented painter and exhibited his artwork in galleries around the world.
- He died on October 8, 2023, in Los Angeles at the age of 83. His daughter said that he had been ill for some time.