Sylvester Stallone

Despite a breakout role in 1974’s The Lords of Flatbush, Stallone wasn’t happy with the roles he was being offered. So he blacked out his windows to focus and wrote several screenplays, one of which turned out to be Rocky. Then he insisted on playing the title role and became one of the breakout stars of the 1970s.

In the process, he helped invite the modern blockbuster — and franchise — and did it again with the Rambo films. Rocky led to Creed, in which Stallone starred in the first two installments. This year he’s back with the fourth and perhaps final Expendables film.

All that and he decided to give TV a try, playing an ex-con who goes West in Tulsa King (above). He’s remarkably never gotten an Oscar, though Rocky won Best Picture and Best Director for John G. Avildsen.

He’s also the subject of a compelling recent Netflix documentary about his life and career called Sly.

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