Burt Young, ‘Rocky’ Staple, Dies @ 83

Burt Young, the Lee Strasberg-trained actor known for his ability to deliver working-class tough guys with layers, died October 8 at 83, his daughter confirmed.

His Paulie was an all-time screen favorite. (Image via UA)

Young was instantly recognizable for his Paulie from the Rocky films, all of them from Rocky (1976) to Rocky Balboa (2006), six in all.

But as known as Young was for Paulie — the butcher whose slabs of beef Sylvester Stallone's Rocky used to practice his punches — he was also one of those ubiquitous faces, a man who died with 160 credits, and several other films in various stages of production.

Young was born Gerald Tommaso DeLouise on April 30, 1940, in Queens, New York. He served in the Marines in the '50s and found success as a boxer ahead of his acting career.

A young Young was Rocky-ready. (Image via family photo)

His films were wildly diverse, from the 1970 slasher Carnival of Blood to Roman Polanski's acclaimed Chinatown (1974) to the Rodney Dangerfield comedy Back to School (1986).

Other film highlights include The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight (1971), Cinderella Liberty (1973), The Gambler (1974), Convoy (1978), Amityville II: The Possession (1982), Once Upon a Time in America (1984), The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984), Last Exit to Brooklyn (1990), Mickey Blue Eyes (1999), Transamerica (2005) and Bottom of the 9th (2019).

Two late greats (Image via HBO)

On TV, he made the requisite visit to The Sopranos (2001). On Broadway, he acted with Robert De Niro and Ralph Macchio in Cuba and His Teddy Bear (1986). He was also a playwright, author and longtime painter.

Young was preceded in death by his wife nearly 50 years ago. He's survived by their daughter and grandson.

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