Sage Stallone Sylvester Stallone son found dead. (Image: Sylvester and Sage Stallone in Rocky V.) Sage Stallone, the 36-year-old son of Sylvester Stallone with his first wife, Sasha Czack (1974-1985), was found dead at his Studio City home (about 10 km northwest of downtown Los Angeles) on Friday, according to various reports. Stallone's body was discovered by his housekeeper. The reported (though unconfirmed) cause of death was an overdose of prescription medication.
Sage Stallone was born on May 5, 1976, in Los Angeles, the year his father – after years as a struggling actor – had a major breakthrough with Rocky, a John G. Avildsen-directed boxing drama from a screenplay by Sylvester Stallone himself. Mixing brutal boxing matches with a fairy-taleish background story, Rocky became a sleeper box office hit and went on to win three Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Several Rocky sequels followed; although those were increasingly reviled by critics, all but the last two, Rocky V (1990) and Rocky Balboa (2006), were major box office hits. Rocky V is the one in which Sylvester Stallone's Rocky Balboa paired up with Sage Stallone's Rocky Balboa Jr.
Sage Stallone: No nepotism in Rocky V
Prior to Rocky V, the then 13-year-old Stallone's previous acting experience consisted of appearing in a few commercials for Japanese television and going to acting school for a year. Even so, Stallone claimed that his father had nothing to do with his being cast in the film: "I went up to the director's (John G. Avildsen) house and he put me in front of the camera," Stallone told the Los Angeles Times at the time. "He said he had 10 kids over before me. He put a video camera in front of my face and I said my lines. I guess I was the most natural person there."
Sylvester and Sage Stallone were reunited six years later in Rob Cohen's disaster flick Daylight (1996), which turned out to be a major box office bomb ($33.09 million domestic).
Sage Stallone's other movies as an actor were minor efforts, e.g., Jeff Burr's low-budget actioner American Hero, starring Timothy Bottoms; David DeFalco's thriller Chaos (2005), with Kevin Gage in the title role; and María Lidón's horror thriller Moscow Zero (2006), with Vincent Gallo. Overall, Stallone's film career consisted of about a dozen movies, in most of which he had supporting roles.
Additionally, in 2006 he directed and co-wrote the 30-minute short Vic, which earned him the Best New Filmmaker Award at the Boston Film Festival. Considering Stallone's connections in the business, it shouldn't be surprising that the Vic cast included the likes of John Phillip Law, Carol Lynley, and Clu Gulager, plus Stallone's mother, billed as Sasha Ash.
As per the IMDb, Sage Stallone's last two movies were made in 2010: Vincent Gallo's romantic drama Promises Written in Water, toplining Gallo and Delfine Bafort; and Riki Roseo's Oliviero Rising, a romantic comedy once again starring Gallo, in addition to Greta Cavazzoni, Rocky veteran Burt Young, and Oscar-winning veteran Ernest Borgnine (who, coincidentally, died last Sunday at age 95).
Sage Stallone's 'quality exploitation' movie distributor
Also worth mentioning, Stallone and film editor Bob Murawski founded Grindhouse Releasing, a Hollywood-based film distribution company specializing in "quality exploitation" productions. Among Grindhouse's offerings are the classic Cannibal Holocaust, Gone with the Pope, Scream Bloody Murder, and Massacre Mafia Style.
According to Sage Stallone's lawyer, George Braunstein, "we don't have any of the details. He wasn't depressed. He was thinking about getting married. He just had his whole life ahead of him."
Sylvester Stallone was at Comic Con 2012 earlier today, promoting his latest movie, The Expendables 2, alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. Two days ago, a Twilight fan, waiting in line early for the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 panel, was killed after being struck by a car outside Comic Con's San Diego Convention Center.
Sylvester Stallone Sage Stallone Rocky V picture: MGM/United Artists.