An icon of machismo and Hollywood action heroism, Sylvester Stallone is responsible for creating two characters who have become a part of the American cultural lexicon: Rocky Balboa, the no-name boxer who overcame all odds to become a champion, and John Rambo, the courageous soldier who specialized in violent rescues and revenge. Both characters are reflections of Stallone’s personal experiences and the battles he waged during his transition from a poor kid in Hell’s Kitchen to one of the world’s most popular stars.
According to Stallone, his was not a happy childhood. On July 6, 1946, in the aforementioned part of Manhattan, Sylvester Enzio Stallone was born to a chorine and an Italian immigrant. A forceps accident during his birth severed a facial nerve, leaving Stallone with parts of his lip, tongue, and chin paralyzed. In doing so, the accident imprinted Stallone with some of the most recognizable components of his persona: the distinctively slurred (and some say often nearly… read more