Renowned thespian Burt Young, celebrated chiefly for his portrayal of Paulie Pennino in the iconic Rocky movie series, has passed away at the venerable age of 83. The luminary thespian garnered an Oscar nod in 1977 for his superlative rendition of the role of Rocky’s confidant and impending brother-in-law. It was Sylvester Stallone, the luminary Rocky himself. Who took to the realms of social media to pay his homage, hailing Young as an “extraordinary individual and virtuoso.” He further expounded, “I, along with the global populace, shall profoundly lament your absence.”
Gerald Tommaso DeLouise, the virtuoso in question, hailed from Queens. New York, and began his sojourn in the world as an Italian-American, gracing the US Marine Corps during the 1950s. Subsequently, he ventured into the domain of dramatic arts. Forging a career that predominantly featured him as resolute individuals in both television and cinematic productions.
Variety’s Carmel Dagan etched a poignant portrayal of Burt Young, eulogizing his remarkable productivity. Dagan articulated, “[He] was never much to look at, making him the quintessential character actor. He possessed the uncanny ability to infuse a scoundrel, a henchman. Or a ruffian with an excess of charisma and compassion that, surprisingly, transcended the character’s inherent merits.”
Young first graced the silver screen in the seminal Rocky installment of 1976, essaying the role of Stallone’s confidant. Subsequently, he assumed the mantle of Rocky’s brother-in-law in the sequel. “Rocky II,” officiating the occasion of the fighter’s nuptials to his sibling. Young embodied the character of Paulie throughout all six original Rocky cinematic masterpieces. Although he was conspicuously absent in the 2015 spin-off venture, “Creed.”
The opus that would catapult Young into the zenith of his career, “Rocky,” achieved unparalleled success in the realm of cinema, amassing a staggering 10 Oscar nominations and clinching three illustrious accolades, including the coveted Best Picture award. Young’s cinematic repertoire also encompassed lauded appearances in films such as “Once Upon a Time in America,” “Last Exit to Brooklyn,” and “Mickey Blue Eyes.”
His thespian virtuosity was not confine to the silver screen alone; it extended to the television domain with appearances on distinguished series like “The Sopranos,” “Law & Order,” “The Rockford Files,” and “MAS*H.” In the twilight of his career as an actor. Burt Young embarked on a parallel journey as a painter, exhibiting his oeuvres at galleries across the globe. Regrettably, the curtain was drawn on his life, as confirmed by his manager on a fateful Wednesday.