World famous actor Sylvester Stallone is known to be one tough guy. His lead roles in the Rambo movie franchise, Rocky, and more recently Creed movies have portrayed that image.
The 72 year-old actor is “one of the most popular actors in cinematic history.” His first Rocky movie won the Academy Award for Best picture of 1976 which launched him as one of the most sought-after action movie stars in the late 1970s and 1980s.
The Comeback and Faith of a Champion
However, Sylvester’s career began declining in the mid-1990s as several movies did not fare well. But he made a comeback, fighting his way back to success. Returning to playing Rocky in Rocky Balboa (2006) the role mirrored his career. Soon after that he made the fourth Rambo movie in 2008. And then in 2010, the highly successful Expendables franchise began, making him a force to be reckoned with.
And in recent years Sylvester Stallone has also been more vocal about his faith. Telling the Dove Foundation in a 2006 interview, “I was raised in a Christian home…I was taught the faith and went as far as I could with it. Then I was presented with temptation and lost my way and made a lot of bad choices.”
In an interview with Pat Robertson of CBN, Sylvester said, “All of a sudden, you’re given the keys to the candy store and temptation abounds. Then I began to believe my own publicity. There’s no question. I admit it, I just lost my way.”
Stallone Identifies with the Prodigal Son
Although he was tough on screen, his personal life seemingly fell apart. Sylvester said that after 12 years of a downward spiral, he said, “Finally I realized it had to stop. I had to get back to basics and take things out of my own hands and put them in God’s hands.”
He also had to cope with the tragic loss of his 36-year-old son Sage. Succumbing to heart disease at the age of 36 in 2012. Sylvester said, “It’s very, very tough. It’s a horrible situation, but time hopefully will heal and you try to get through it.”
He told Focus on the Family, “The more I go to church and the more I turn myself over to the process of believing in Jesus. And listening to His Word and having Him guide my hand, I feel as though the pressure is off me now. The church is the gym of the soul. You cannot train yourself. You need to have the expertise and the guidance of someone else.”
In 2010, he told GQ Magazine that he was a spiritual man but is not a member of structured church.
With the release of the recent Creed movies in the Rocky movie franchise, he said, “This is a story of faith, integrity and victory. Jesus is the inspiration for anyone to go the distance.”