Robert “Rocky” Balboa, Sr. (born 1945) is a fictional boxer
created and portrayed by Sylvester Stallone who has appeared in the Rocky series
starting in 1976.
In an effort to capitalize on the success of Rocky,
the 1970 pornography film Party at Kitty and Stud’s was re-released under the
title The Italian Stallion, a reference to Rocky’s nickname. The film stars a
24-year-old Sylvester Stallone as “Stud” in his film debut, and also features
Henrietta Holm as “Kitty”.
To date Rocky has generated five sequels. The
first, Rocky II (1979) sees Rocky reluctantly called back for a rematch with
Apollo Creed that Rocky wins. Rocky II reunited the entire cast of the original
Rocky. A new character appears in 1982′s Rocky III, Clubber Lang (played by Mr.
T), an outspoken young fighter insisting on a fight with Rocky. Rocky loses this
bout, with Mickey suffering a fatal heart attack before the fight. Rocky accepts
an offer from his rival-turned-friend Apollo Creed for help in regaining the
title. Rocky IV (1985) introduces Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), a strong Soviet
fighter who is convinced he can defeat any American fighter. A retired Apollo
takes up the challenge and is killed in the ring by Drago. After Apollo’s death,
Rocky decides to fight against Drago, despite his wife Adrian urging him not to,
and travels to the Soviet Union to train for the fight. Rocky defeats Drago but
has to give up his official heavyweight title as the boxing commission did not
sanction the fight. Released in 1990, Rocky V was a departure from the rest of
the series, as Rocky no longer fights professionally, due to brain injuries, but
instead trains younger fighters, including Tommy Gunn (played by real life boxer
Tommy Morrison). It becomes apparent that Gunn is merely using Rocky’s fame for
his own ends, and the film ends with Rocky defeating Gunn in a fight in the
street. The movie also is the first to introduce Rocky’s son, Robert, as a major
character. The final addition to the Rocky series, Rocky Balboa has Rocky
fighting against a real-life boxer again, in this case former light heavyweight
champion Antonio Tarver playing Mason “The Line” Dixon.