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Rocky Balboa as played by Sylvester Stallone
Actor Sylvester Stallone strikes a pose as boxer Rocky Balboa in the 1976 film Rocky. Written by Stallone, and directed by John G. Avildsen, the film tells the story of a small-time Philadelphia boxer who gets his big shot in a July 4th bout with the world heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed (played by Carl Weathers). Sylvester Stallone was born in 1946, so he turned 30 the year that Rocky was released. The film made Stallone a star and launched the long-running Rocky film franchise, which extended into the 21st century with the 2015 film Creed and its sequels.