Burt Young was an American actor, author, and painter who was born on April 30, 1940, in New York City.
He died on October 8, 2023, in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 83.
Young was best known for his role as Paulie Pennino in the Rocky franchise, where he played the rough-hewn, mumbling-and-grumbling best friend, corner-man and brother-in-law of Sylvester Stallone.
He appeared in all six Rocky movies and was the only actor who didn’t have to audition for the role.
Young had roles in other acclaimed films and television shows, including Chinatown, Once Upon a Time in America and The Sopranos.
Additionally, he was a former boxer who found fame playing tough guys in Hollywood.
He received his dramatic arts training under legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio.
In addition to acting, Young was also an author and painter.
Burt Young upbringing and education
Young grew up in the Corona neighborhood of Queens, New York, in a working-class family.
His father, Michael DeLouise, was a sheet-metal worker, an iceman, and eventually a high school shop teacher and dean.
Young described his parents as ‘the greatest’ and had a close relationship with them. His mother, Josephine, was a protective figure in his life.
During his teenage years, Young was expelled from two high schools.
He then joined the Marine Corps, lying about his age with some assistance, and served in the military.
After his time in the military, Young pursued a career in acting and received training from Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio, a renowned acting school.
He studied with Strasberg for two years and continued to develop his craft as a self-employed actor.
Burt Young cause of death
Unfortunately, at the time of publishing this article, no cause of Young’s death had been given.
Burt Young career
Young received his dramatic arts training under legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio.
He first gained notice playing tough thugs in films such as The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, Across 110th Street, Chinatown and The Gambler.
Young was cast as the getaway driver/assassin Mac in The Killer Elite which brought him to the attention of newcomer Sylvester Stallone, who cast him as future brother-in-law ‘Paulie’ in the 1976 sleeper hit, Rocky.
He was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Rocky and went on to reprise the role in all five Rocky sequels.
Young also appeared in numerous other major productions, including Once Upon a Time in America, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Last Exit to Brooklyn, Mickey Blue Eyes and The Adventures of Pluto Nash.
He had a diverse career that included over 160 movie and television credits.
Young played small-time tough guys or down-on-their-luck working-class men on stage, in films, and on television.
He served in the Marine Corps, fought as a professional boxer, and worked as a carpet layer before taking up acting.
Burt Young personal life
Young was married to Gloria DeLouise for 13 years before her death in 1974.
They got married in a private ceremony in 1961 when he was 19 years old.
Little information is available about their relationship, but Young once opened up about facing a rough patch in his marriage while attending the Actor’s Studio in the ‘60s.
Young had one daughter, Anne Morea Steingieser, who was born in 1969.
Anne confirmed her father’s death on October 18, 2023, but the exact cause of death was not disclosed.
Young also had a grandson.