Actor Burt Young of ‘Rocky’ fame dies at 83

10/23/23 By Gandharvika Gopal

Oscar-nominated Burt Young, best known for his role as Paulie of the acclaimed “Rocky” franchise, dies at 83. Young passed away on Oct. 8th in Los Angeles with no known cause of death, his daughter Anne Morea Steingieser told the New York Times.

Young portrayed Paulie Pennino, best friend and brother-in-law of protagonist Rocky Balboa, in six “Rocky” movies. His character is best known for an angry and stubborn temperament that softened over time, and the iconic bucket hat he was rarely seen without. “I made him a rough guy with a sensitivity. He’s really a marshmallow even though he yells a lot,” Young said of the role in a 2020 interview with Celebrity Parents magazine.

Though best known for his role in “Rocky,” Young has an extensive and acclaimed filmography including roles in “Chinatown,” “Once Upon a Time in America” and “The Sopranos.” While his fame suggests otherwise, Young wasn’t always an actor.

Young was born and raised in Queens, New York and served as a Marine Corps and was a professional boxer before beginning his acting career. He was also involved in live theater and enjoyed painting in his later life.

The actor is survived by a daughter, grandchild, and brother.