Burt Young, of 'Rocky' fame, dies at 83

 October 21, 2023

Actor Burt Young, best known for playing Paulie Pennino in the Rocky film series, has died at the age of 83. 

The news of Young's passing was first reported by the New York Times on Wednesday.

According to the outlet, Young passed away on Oct. 8, in Los Angeles, California.

The Times reports, "His death was confirmed by his daughter, Anne Morea Steingieser, who said that cause was not yet known."

Remembering Young

From Queens, New York, Young would go on to have a long and fruitful acting career that began all the way back in the early 1970s and lasted until the time of his death.

Before acting, Young, whose birth name is Gerald Tommaso DeLouise, spent time in the U.S. Marines after dropping out of high school. Young was in the Marine Corps from 1957 to 1959, and, while there, he took up boxing, something that he would continue to do, under the guidance of legendary trainer Cus D'Amato, after leaving the Marines.

Young is best known for his role in the Rocky film series. But, he has also played roles in countless other films and television shows.

"A tough guy in real life who usually played tough guys onscreen, Young portrayed a rotten client of gumshoe Jack Nicholson's in Chinatown (1974), was mobster "Bed Bug" Eddie in The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984), and played Rodney Dangerfield's protector/chauffeur Lou in Back to School (1986)," the Hollywood Reporter reports.

The outlet adds, "Young also appeared in four movies in four straight years with fellow Queens guy James Caan - Cinderella Liberty (1973), The Gambler (1974), The Killer Elite (1975), and Harry and Walter Go to New York (1976) - before they worked together again in Mickey Blue Eyes (1999)."

"An actor of tremendous emotional range"

In more recent times, Young played roles in Kevin Can Wait and Rusian Doll. And, he was still cast to play various roles at the time of his death.

Young was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Paulie in the Rocky series. But, Young did not manage to win the award.

Young's manager, Lynda Bensky, has put out a statement, saying, "Burt was an actor of tremendous emotional range."

"But the real pathos that I experienced was the poignancy of his soul. That’s where it came from," Bensky added.

"Young," according to USA Today, "is survived by his daughter, Anne Morea Steingieser, his brother, Robert, and a grandson, according to The Times. His wife, Gloria, died in 1974."

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