Sylvester Stallone, incidentally, is the only artist aside from Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles to have been nominated for Best Actor and Best Screenplay in the same year.
Many know that Sylvester Stallone was broke while he was penning the script of Rocky and that the film was born out of desperation as much as passion. Up till the point the film came to life, he had tried everything possible - a lead role in a softcore porno, an erotic off-Broadway play, a slew of bit roles in films like Bananas, What's Up, Doc?, etc. and even a handful starring roles that amounted to not much.
In fact, a 1976 New York Times article reveals that much like Rocky Balboa himself, Stallone was so down-and-out in life that he had about $106 dollars in his bank account prior to the film's release and had to take care of his pregnant wife and a bull mastiff dog to also take care of.
But, Rocky, the picture, did come to be sooner than later and the rest, as they say, is all glittery history. The film became the highest-grossing film of the year 1976, Sly Stallone would receive not one but two Oscar nominations - for both Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay - and he had suddenly pulled himself out of misery in one glorious sweeping stroke. It was all so wonderful that post the release of Rocky, Stallone would receive letters from movie icons, namely Charlie Chaplin and Frank Capra, and one phone call from a certain rock n roll legend named Elvis Presley!
Sylvester Stallone would also turn down Elvis Presley, who wanted to rent out a theatre in Memphis to screen Rocky. The Italian Stallion reveals he was too shy to say yes and about a year later, the Jailhouse Rock singer, too, died. Stallone tells GQ that he began instilling in his children right from that point that when they find an opportunity knocking, they must grab it.
Through, Rocky, Sylvester Stallone emerged as a breakout star and witnessed all great heights of stardom in Hollywood. His vibrant life, of course, is the subject of a new Netflix documentary titled 'Sly' which will have the man himself taking us through the ebbs and flows. Alongside, it will also feature a series of talking heads like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Quentin Tarantino, Talia Shire, Henry Winkler and Frank Stallone Jr.
Sly premieres on Netflix on November 3 and here's the trailer: