Why ‘Rocky’ Star Sylvester Stallone Was Afraid to Meet Elvis Presley

by Megan Molseed
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Rocky Balboa may have been afraid of absolutely no one, taking on the world champion fighter in the hit 1976 film Rocky. However, Sylvester Stallone, the man who played the iconic fighter, has one notable fear. Well, maybe not a fear perse…more of a shyness as the actor remembers turning down a major opportunity shortly after Rocky was released. This opportunity? Meeting The King of Rock N’ Roll himself, Elvis Presley.

Sylvester Stallone May Have Found Fame With the Release Of Rocky However, His Shyness Remains

In 1976, Rocky, one of the most iconic films in Hollywood history hit the big screen. Starring an unknown actor as the titular character, Rocky Balboa, Rocky follows the story of a small-time boxer from Philadelphia who gets a rare opportunity unavailable to most people; to take on the world heavyweight champion in the ring. It was a career-making role for Sylvester Stallone. A role that certainly got the actor noticed by many; including the King himself, Elvis Presley.

However, even with this unprecedented fame and fortune, Stallone’s insecurities remain – to an extent. Insecurities that prompted him to turn down a major invitation from the rock-n-roll legend.

Elvis Requests A Private Screening Of the Iconic Boxing Film

As Rocky, which was also written by Sylvester Stallone, continued to soar in popularity after its 1976 release, Elvis contacted Stallone with a unique request. The music icon, Stallone has said, planned on renting a theater for a private screening of the hit film. And he wanted the Rocky star to join in on the festivities. However, Stallone says he turned down the invitation.

A decision the movie star says he made because he was simply too shy. However, Stallone has said he sent Elvis a copy of the film. Unfortunately, this would have been one of Stallone’s only opportunities to meet the music icon, as Elvis Presley passed away unexpectedly in August 1977.

Rocky Brings Stallone Unprecedented Fame and Fortune

The release of Rocky in 1976 was a life-changing event for Sylvester Stallone. The actor has long said that he was an unknown and struggling actor prior to the film’s release. In fact, the actor has said in interviews that he was all but broke before Rocky hit it big.

After penning the critically acclaimed hit, Sly Stallone made a major move that would seal his placement in film history by insisting he portrays the film’s lead, Rocky Balboa. This move was a risky one, as studios were angling for well-known A-list players at the time. The 1976 boxing film went on to earn multiple academy awards; and several other nominations.

Of course, this role led to multiple career opportunities for Stallone. Making the Rocky star nothing short of a household name; starring in some of the most prolific films during his decades-long career in the industry.

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