by Rick Pezzullo –
Fans of the epic Rocky film series received a treat on April 14 when one of the beloved characters in the boxing saga made a special appearance at the Tarrytown Music Hall.
Actor Burt Young, who played Paulie Pennino, brother of Adrian, Rocky Balboa’s wife, appeared on stage for a question and answer segment following the showing of the original Rocky, which first hit theaters in 1976 and received the Academy Award for Best Picture.
The event, which was well attended, was part of a Silver Screen Sports Film Festival presented by Jobu Media Group.
“I’m a lucky fella. It made me a great life,” Young said of appearances in six of the movies, the first of which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. “At the time I didn’t know what a blockbuster was.”
Young, 78, has appeared in more than 200 films, television shows and theater productions. He said he didn’t have to audition for the part of Paulie since he had worked with the producers in the past.
“They came to me. They asked me to do it. It was a pleasure,” Young said.
Young, who boxed in his younger days, compiling a 19-0 record in professional fights, had high praise for all of his co-stars in the series: Sylvester Stallone (Rocky), Talia Shire (Adrian), Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed) and Burgess Meredith (Mickey).
“I care for everyone involved in the movies,” he said. “I had a good run and it’s not over. I hope something is next. That’s why we were put on this planet. We all have a little fear, then with fear comes creativity.”
Young is also an accomplished artist. “All I need is a canvas and a can of paint,” he said. Some of his art work can be viewed at www.burtyoungartandfilm.com.