Share This Episode
Our American Stories Lee Habeeb Logo

Burt Young’s Story: The Man Who Played Paulie in Rocky Opens Up About His Family and His Craft

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
May 17, 2024 3:00 am

Burt Young’s Story: The Man Who Played Paulie in Rocky Opens Up About His Family and His Craft

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 2154 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.


May 17, 2024 3:00 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Burt Young is an immediately recognizable character actor whose half-muttered voice and flinty gaze made him the perfect fit for "Rocky" as Sylvester Stallone's ill-mannered brother-in-law, Paulie. Here’s Burt Young with his story.

Support the show (https://www.ouramericanstories.com/donate)

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

What's up? This is your boy Lil Duval and check out my podcast, Conversations with Unk, on the Black Effect Podcast Network. Each and every Tuesday, Conversations with Unk Podcasts feature casuals and in-depth talk about ebbs and flows of life and the pursuit of happiness. Unlike my work on stage, I tap into a more serious and sensitive side to give life advice and simply offer words of encouragement, yet remind folks to never forget to laugh. Every Tuesday, listen to Conversations with Unk hosted by Lil Duval on the Black Effect Podcast Network, iHeartRadio app, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Presented by AT&T, connecting changes everything. I'm Katja Adler, host of The Global Story. Over the last 25 years, I've covered conflicts in the Middle East, political and economic crises in Europe, drug cartels in Mexico. Now I'm covering the stories behind the news all over the world in conversation with those who break it.

Join me Monday to Friday to find out what's happening, why, and what it all means. Follow The Global Story from the BBC wherever you listen to podcasts. Zoom or Play is your destination for endless entertainment. With a diverse lineup of 350 plus live channels, movies, and full TV series, you'll easily find something to watch right away.

And the best part? It's all free. Love music? Get lost in the 90s with iHeart 90s. Dance away with hip hop beats and more on the iHeartRadio music channels.

No logins, no signups, no accounts, no hassle. So what are you waiting for? Start streaming at play.xumo.com or download from the app and Google Play stores today.

All you can stream with Zoom or Play. This is Lee Habib and this is Our American Stories, the show where America is the star and the American people. And to search for the Our American Stories podcast, go to the iHeartRadio app, the Apple podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts. Burt Young is an immediately recognizable character actor whose half-muttered voice and flinty gaze made him the perfect fit for Rocky as Sylvester Stallone's ill-mannered brother-in-law, Paulie. Without any further ado, here's Burt Young with his story. Yes, I'm Burt Young.

I was born in Corona, Queens, New York. I had the greatest parents. My pop, he became like a minister in a high school. His name was Michael. He was a sheet metal mechanic coming from an iceman. He could do anything, build anything.

He could smock you pretty good too. He's a tough guy himself. He was a great guy. My mother Josephine, she lived to about 93.

The most beautiful lady ever protected me from everything. Mama knew I couldn't do wrong. When I needed money as a kid, my father would give me 25 cents. I said, mama, I need two grand. She said, Mike, write our check, sign the check. That was it.

When she spoke, he listened. The only trouble I ever had is when I left home. I believed in myself in life. I had 17 pro fights. I never lost a pro fight. I believed in myself. I was a very good fighter.

My custom model was my first manager. Charlie Goldman was a trainer. He converted me from southpaw to right-hander. In those days, you couldn't fight left-hander. But fighting, it was part of my nature. I did an exhibition with Muhammad Ali. That was one of my high spots at the Olympic auditorium. He was a very good fighter. Muhammad Ali, that was one of my high spots at the Olympic auditorium in California. We became fast friends, very good.

You never said when you give up boxing. Who gets sad getting punched in the face? Growing up, I was early in the Marine Corps, 16. I was half a hoodlum, you know, really.

I had carpet lay in business, 60 men working, everything on a short dollar, you know. I was pretty unhappy. And this beautiful girl, she was a barmaid in the Jackson Heights gym room. I started asking if she ever thought of being an actress. And she led up. And she said she wanted to start with Lee Strasberg. And I thought that was a girl. I don't know who the hell Lee Strasberg was.

But I figured I can get it in anywhere. So I found out who he was, wrote him a letter. I don't know if acting has anything for me, but I'm trying to see me. And he did. He said, I never saw tension in a man's face. He said, but I fear you're an emotional library, he says.

Would you work with me? I said, yes. And I was able to take myself serious.

Well, I read the script, the Rocky script. It was like a masterpiece of simplicity. It was half a character, half reality, but it was very touching, very moving. It was like a moving poetry.

It was beautiful. I'm in the commissary in California. A young guy squats next to me. He says, Mr. Young, I'm Sylvester Stallone. I wrote Rocky. I said, Rocky. I said, congratulations. I'm proud. He says, you got to do it. I said, let me twist that arm a little bit.

I'm going to do it. That's when we first met each other. I was the highest paid actor in the first Rocky, more than he was. I was a strong piece of writing. And I didn't take a chance.

I dove into it. You don't have to go too far for him. He's very bright and funny too. Well, we worked very well together. Very good.

We never had a harsh moment, really. No, I like working with him. And he's fast. He shoots fast. We would have shot after Rocky by now. I never knew it was going to be go through the seal.

I didn't know what huge hits were. Rocky would have a crush on the doorbell. And that was a lot of fun. My papa was much more talented. I was acting before he died. And he didn't understand it because he knew me as a hoodlum. We'd bring him to screenings early.

I had a projection room in Beverly Hills in my house out there. We'd show him some of the movies. The hell is it? He couldn't get it. Couldn't get it.

I don't think it can put me in a bottle. As an actor and as an artist, perhaps the acting, I'm a little more structured. I pick ammunition, bullets to use, to relax in, to fatten up. It could be greed.

It could be anger. And I fatten that up with personal things that I used to get there. Police was quick and crafty. But they had many personal hobbies that were not me. I made them as warm as I could make them. But you had to forgive the sucker for it. He was a pretty ugly guy many times. They miscast me. I'm a lovable son of a gun. Just I go straight here and there. And a terrific job on the production, editing, and storytelling by our own Greg Hengler and a special thanks to Platinum Platypus for their work on this interview with Burt Young. Straight and simple. Like Rocky, what he said about Rocky is so true of so much great storytelling. It's simple.

It's straight. And it moves people. The story of Burt Young, the story about so much, here on Our American Stories. Lee Habib here, the host of Our American Stories. Every day on this show, we're bringing inspiring inspiring stories from across this great country.

Stories from our big cities and small towns. But we truly can't do the show without you. Our stories are free to listen to, but they're not free to make. If you love what you hear, go to our American stories.com and click the donate button.

Give a little, give a lot. Go to our American stories.com and give. From BBC Radio 4, Britain's biggest paranormal podcast is going on a road trip. I thought in that moment, Oh my God, we've summoned something from this board. This is Uncanny USA. He says somebody's in the house and I screamed. Listen to Uncanny USA wherever you get your BBC podcasts, if you dare.

This is Malcolm Gladwell from Revisionist History. eBay Motors is here for the ride. With some elbow grease, fresh installs, and a whole lot of love, you transformed 100,000 miles and a body full of rust into a drive that's all your own. Brake kits, LED headlights, whatever you need, eBay Motors has it. And with eBay Guaranteed Fit, it's guaranteed to fit your ride the first time, every time, or your money back. Plus at these prices, you're burning rubber, not cash.

Keep your ride or die alive at eBayMotors.com. Eligible items only, exclusions apply. Zumoplay is your destination for endless entertainment. With a diverse lineup of 350 plus live channels, movies, and full TV series, you'll easily find something to watch right away.

And the best part? It's all free. Love music? Get lost in the 90s with iHeart 90s. Dance away with hip hop beats and more on the iHeart Radio music channels. No logins, no signups, no accounts, no hassle. So what are you waiting for? Start streaming at play.xumo.com or download from the app and Google Play stores today. All you can stream with Zumoplay.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-17 04:25:10 / 2024-05-17 04:29:28 / 4

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime