Sylvester Stallone Reveals How Losing a Child and Having an Autistic Son Shaped Him Into the Man He Is Today
Sylvester Stallone rose to prominence as the creator and star of the Rocky and Rambo film franchises, firmly establishing his place in the action genre. However, Silvester has lived through a lot of grief and hardship throughout his life, all while hiding it behind the inspiring images he’s played in the movies. The actor lost his first child and had to deal with an autism diagnosis with his second, but this didn’t stop him from fighting and never giving up, just like his iconic characters did.
Despite coming from “nothing,” Stallone became a star.
Sylvester Stallone is an indisputable action legend and one of the most famous actors in Hollywood. Since 1969, the Rocky and Rambo writer-director has worked on nearly 70 films. But there is usually a bitter truth hidden underneath a successful career, and Stallone had to climb a steep stairway to get to where he is today.
Sylvester Stallone’s path demonstrates that nothing is impossible, no matter how outlandish certain dreams appear. The actor had been poor since childhood, sacrificing many things to pursue his acting dream.
He had to go back and forth before he could sell the script for the movie “Rocky,” and he turned down significant sums of money until his offer was accepted. Stallone played Rocky on the big screen and rose to fame as a movie legend — the film was also a huge box office triumph, the first in a string of successes.
Sylvester Stallone says family is “all that matters.”
With an expanding family and many divorces, Stallone’s personal life has been as challenging as his professional life. The actor has been married 3 times and has 2 children from his first marriage and 3 from his third.
He married Sasha Czack in a big ceremony in 1974, but after a decade together, they called it quits. By 1985, Stallone had fallen in love with model Brigitte Nielsen, but their marriage lasted only 2 years and ended in a messy divorce that was widely publicized. However, after numerous ups and downs, Stallone met and married his current wife, Jennifer Flavin, in 1997.
Sage Moonblood, his eldest son, was born to Stallone and Czack in 1976. Sage grew up following in his father’s footsteps, even portraying Rocky’s son in Rocky V, but then abandoned the acting path to take a different one. Seargeoh, their second child, was born in 1979. Despite consistently staying out of the spotlight, Seargeoh received cinematic credit as Robert “Rocky” Balboa Jr. in Rocky II, where he plays a baby.
Stallone also has 3 daughters from his third marriage to Jennifer Flavin. Sophia is the oldest, followed by Sistine and Scarlet, the youngest. They are all pursuing amazing careers, making outstanding educational achievements, and following in their parents’ footsteps.
The siblings have an extraordinary relationship and are pretty close to one another. “I’ve never seen such a close sisterhood bond. How we are perceived by paparazzi is really how it is,” Sistine explained. Despite the recent announcement of Stallone and Flavin’s divorce, the family remains intact, and the actor always swears to put his family first.
The autism diagnosis of his second child.
Seargeoh, his second son, was diagnosed with autism when he was 3 years old — his parents were concerned about his silence and took him to get looked at, and doctors verified the diagnosis. Ever since then, he has remained mostly out of the spotlight.
Stallone admitted to crying when he learned about it. Because of the media attention, people constantly advised them to place their son in a special facility. Sylvester Stallone, however, disregarded the advice and insisted that no special treatment could compare to the comfort of home and family. But they made accommodations for their son’s requirements by ensuring he attended therapy sessions while being homeschooled.
The actor was frequently absent because of work obligations, which left Czack to assume all of the responsibilities. “I knew that Sly couldn’t get as involved because of his work. We do what we have to do. So, I just said, ’Give me the money, and I’ll take care of it,’” the actress revealed in 1985.
Thus, Stallone had to build a different relationship with his son. “There is no real father-and-son thing there,” he says. “I have to become his playmate. With a child like this, you have to put away your ego.” But despite the challenges that come with it, he has always tried to do anything he could to assist his child, even if it means creating a playground in his backyard.
Along with his ex-wife, he established a research fund administered under the National Society for Children and Adults With Autism. “Sasha does the hard, in-the-trenches warfare,” Stallone said, “I use my films to have premieres that raise money for the fund.”
The tragic passing of Sage Stallone
Life has not been easy for Stallone. Besides the autism diagnosis, he also had to deal with the loss of his firstborn, Sage. On July 13, 2012, Sage, who was only 36 years old, passed away in his Los Angeles apartment after a heart attack brought on by atherosclerosis.
Sage differed from his father, avoiding the gym and having different hobbies than him, but still, Stallone was very proud of him. “He has put himself in a position in which he’ll never have to be compared to me. I’m very proud and optimistic.”
Sage’s death has sparked much speculation, but Stallone has chosen to remain silent to honor his son’s legacy. He pleaded for seclusion and isolation as he mourned his son’s loss.
“When a parent loses a child, there is no greater pain,” Stallone said. “Therefore, I am imploring people to respect my wonderfully talented son’s memory and feel compassion for his loving mother, Sasha, because this agonizing loss will be felt for the rest of our lives.”
Stallone has, once again, proven his resilience and compassion, but through ups and downs, he has learned to never give up in the face of difficulties. The actor maintains his optimism at all times, stating, “It’s a horrible situation, but time hopefully will heal. It’s important to get back and try to start reliving your life.”
What kind of parent are you? How do you face difficulties when it comes to your children?