Sylvester Stallone Speaks Out About Tragic Death Of Son Sage

Sylvester Stallone has opened up about the tragic death of his son Sage Stallone.
Credit: Alamy

The Rocky star has opened up about the tragic death of his son Sage Stallone.

Sylvester Stallone, 77, is undoubtedly one of the biggest action stars of all time and has been involved in iconic films such as the Rambo franchise, Demolition Man and Cop Land.

The Oscar-winning actor has been married three times – to actresses Sasha Czack, 1974-1985, and Bridgette Nielsen, 1985-1987, and to model Jennifer Flavin, his current wife whom he married in 1997.

Throughout Stallone’s three marriages, he has welcomed five children – sons Sage, who died aged 36, and Seargeoh, 44, with his first wife and three daughters, Sophia, 27, Sistine, 25, and Scarlet, 21, with his current wife.

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Sage passed away in 2012 from coronary artery disease atherosclerosis, which caused a heart attack, as per People.

According to the CDC, this is caused when plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the heart – which can partially or totally block the blood flow.

Sage’s tragic death is something that Stallone rarely talks publicly about, however, he addresses it in his recent Netflix documentary Sly.

In one scene, footage of Sage aged 14 is shown when he played Robert, the son of Rocky Balboa, opposite his father in Rocky V.

The follows the titular character’s strained relationship with his son – who feels Rocky spends far more time training with boxer Tommy (Tommy Morrison) than with his family.

When asked if his own family dynamics influenced the writing of the fifth Rocky film, Stallone responded: “Unfortunately, yes.”

Sylvester and Sage Stallone in Rocky V.
Sage Stallone starred opposite his father in Rocky V. Credit: United International Pictures

He continued: “I try to take something that actually is what I wish I had done in real life, but I wasn’t able to do that in reality. And so quite often I would do it theatrically, magically.

“A lot of that is true. Unfortunately, you put things before your family. And the repercussions are quite radical and devastating.”

By the time Rocky V came out in 1990, Stallone was coming off a decade where he had been working nonstop and dominating the box office with countless films (and a few flops along the way).

This meant he spent a lot of time away from his family and the star has previously admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that this is his ‘biggest regret’.

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Sage opened up about his experience working on Rocky V  to People in 1996 – in which he revealed that their relationship in real life fuelled his performance in the film.

He explained: “When I was screaming: ‘You never spent time with me! You never spent time with my mother!’ that was true.

“I was looking into my father’s face and really saying that. I got a lot of things out. We broke into tears a few times.”

Sage added that after they finished the movie, their relationship completely changed and that they would do ‘anything for each other’.

Sylvester and Sage Stallone in Rocky V.
The pair both opened up about how their real-life relationship influenced their on-screen dynamic. Credit: United International Pictures

The Netflix documentary also features footage of the two of them walking the red carpet together at the Rocky V premiere – which shows the Creed star saying: “There’s a line in the movie, ‘I’m so glad he’s born because now I can live through your eyes’.

“That, I think, is what fathers look to their children for. It’s an extension of, a slice of immortality.

“As long as he’s alive, your memory will always be alive, that you did something right. I mean, you hope for that.”

Stallone and Czack’s other son Seargeoh was diagnosed with autism at a young age, according to Bright Side.

The pair have chosen to keep their son out of the spotlight.

Following his child’s diagnosis, the Tulsa King star established a research fund administered under the National Society for Children and Adults With Autism – previously stating he uses the income from his films to raise money for the funds.

Sly is available to watch on Netflix.

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a former content editor at IGV who specialised in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.