Whenever we think of celebrities, we imagine them sashaying up the red carpet, decked out with designer clothing and smiling for the photographers. We think of limousines, mansions in Hollywood, and wads of cash.
For many actors and actresses, this is not what they're used to. You'd be surprised how many of today's biggest names used to be homeless before their big breaks. In fact, one of the most well-loved celebrities faced unthinkable hardship and still overcame it all to follow his dream of becoming an actor.
On July 6, 1946, Sylvester Stallone was born in New York City. Half of the lower left side of his face was paralyzed from birth, which caused him to have slurred speech and a permanent "snarl" to his mouth.
His home life was unhappy, as his parents had frequent fights and eventually divorced in 1957 when Sylvester was only 11 years old. Throughout his youth, he was in and out of foster care and spent time living with his father and later his mother and her second husband.
Angry and resentful, a young Sylvester was expelled from multiple schools before finally completing high school. Despite his academic failures, he had a dream. From a very young age, Sylvester knew he wanted to become an actor to "inspire people and give them a way to escape."
Early Acting Career
He studied drama at the American College in Switzerland and the University of Miami before going to the big city to make his way.
In New York City, he faced rejection after rejection. Producers refused to cast him because of his unsymmetrical face and slurred speech. Penniless and without a home, Stallone slept at the NY bus station for 3 days, and worked odd jobs, such as cleaning the animals' cages at Central Park Zoo.
He married Sasha Czack and had some small successes starring in a few roles with meager pay. In his first movie role, he was in a 20-second clip and "played a thug someone beat up." It wasn't exactly the life he'd always dreamed of.
Go to the next page to find out how he got his big break!