Burt Young is a veteran Italian-American actor, who was nominated as the best supporting actor for his iconic role in “Rocky” as ‘Balboa’s’ brother-in-law Paulie Pennino. Burt has starred in all the “Rocky” films, as well as numerous other roles. The actor is still alive, having celebrated his 80th birthday quite recently, and his latest role was in the 2019 film “Vault”. He also has a recurring role in the series “Russian Doll”. Despite being one of Hollywood’s most iconic actors, there are plenty of mysteries that are not widely known about Burt.
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Read on to find out everything there is to know about him.
Early life and family
Burt was born in Queens, New York City, USA, on 30 April in 1940. When he began acting he adopted the stage name Burt Young, but was born as Richard Morea to his parents Micheal and Josephine Morea.
His father was a teacher who taught Industrial Arts and is of Italian descent. At the age of 15, Burt dropped out of high school to join the US Marine Corps, serving from 1955 to 1957.
Although Burt did not finish his educational career, he did at a later point in his life receive training as an actor at the Actor’s Studio, studying dramatic arts under the iconic acting coach Lee Strasberg.
It started as an initiative to impress a young girl that Burt liked, but after Lee agreed to coach him, Burt’s career in acting took shape.
Burt is a veteran actor who started his career in 1969, and has kept going now for more than five decades, making him a true veteran of the arts. Other than acting, Burt is also a painter and author, with several published works.
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Burt’s first role was a small part as a bartender in the soap opera series “The Doctors”. Following this in his continued pursuit of the art, Burt landed a role in the 1970 film “Carnival of Blood”. The roles did not stream in after this, but Burt continued to gain publicity as the years moved on, and had numerous roles throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Some of his most iconic work during his early career includes of course the “Rocky” series of films.
He also played in memorable films that include among many “The Killer Elite”, “The Gambler”, and “A Summer to Remember”.
His television credits include appearances in shows such as “Miami Vice” and “Airwolf”. His later appearances in television shows of the ‘90s and the twenty-first century include “Law and Order”, “Walker Texas Ranger”, “The Sopranos”, “The Handler” and many more.
Burt’s film credits in most recent years are a long list, but some of the more iconic titles include “The Adventures of Pluto Nash”, “Win, Win”, and “The Neighborhood”.
His most recent film features include “Road to Lemon Grove”, “The Brawler” and “Vault”.
Burt has showcased more than 800 paintings in galleries across the globe. His Port Washington home is decorated with several paintings of his own, all depicting memories and moments of his life. He also exhibits some of his work on a website dedicated to himself.
He is also a published author and screenplay writer; some of his work include “Uncle Joe Shannon”, in which he starred in the titular role, and the script for the film “Daddy, I Don’t Like This”, in which he also appeared a himself.
Burt has also starred in a few stage plays, including one alongside Robert De Niro entitled “Cuba and His Teddy Bear”. Others include “A Letter To Alicia”.
At one point he owned a restaurant in The Bronx, New York City, but when and what are unknown.
Hobbies, favourite things and interesting facts
Before making it as an actor, Burt had been a professional boxer, having 14 fights and winning all of them – why he retired isn’t known, but maybe acting called! He also worked as a carpet cleaner, salesman and installer.
Sylvester Stallone gave him a Cartier watch made of gold as a gift for his participation in the “Rocky” films, which Burt still wears to this day. Burt is also a philanthropist, who raised money for charity in boxing ‘fights’ with the legendary Muhammad Ali.
Burt married Gloria DeLouise in 1961, but his wife of 13 years sadly passed away in 1974. He has one child with Gloria, Anne Morea, and it’s not known if he remarried. Burt is the grand-father to Anne’s only child, but his/her identity hasn’t been disclosed.
- Date of Birth: 30 April 1940
- Hair colour: Dark Brown/ Grey and Balding
- Eye colour: Brown
- Height: 5ft 8ins (1.76m)
- Weight: 180lbs (82 kgs)
- Shoe Size: Unknown
- Star Sign: Taurus
- Nationality: Italian-American
- Ethnicity: Italian
Burt Young’s net worth accumulated over all the years of his long career amounts to an estimated total of $2 million as of 2020.