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Burt Young, who played Paulie in the “Rocky” film franchise, dies at 83

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Burt Young was best known for his career-defining role as Paulie, appearing in all six films up until “Rocky Balboa” in 2006.

ByJolie Lash and Danielle Jennings ABCNews logo

Thursday, October 19, 2023 6:37AM

Oscar-nominated actor Burt Young, of 'Rocky' fame, dies at 83

Burt Young, the Academy Award-nominated actor known for his timeless role as Paulie in the “Rocky” film franchise, has died at 83, his manager confirmed to ABC News.

“Burt was an actor of tremendous emotional range. He could make you cry and he could scare you to death. But the real pathos that I experienced was the poignancy of his soul. That’s where it came from,” his manager, Lynda Bensky, said of the veteran actor in a statement.

Young died earlier this month in Los Angeles, according to the New York Times, which first reported the news.

Young had a lengthy Hollywood career that spanned six decades.

He played Curly in 1974’s “Chinatown” alongside Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston.

The same year, Young also appeared as Carmine alongside James Caan in “The Gambler,” a film that followed a professor who gets into trouble with his gambling debt.

Young took on a variety of roles on television in the 1970s, including in the 1975 TV movie “Hustling,” and 1976’s “Serpico” and “The Rockford Files.”

But he was best known for his career-defining role as Paulie, the cantankerous yet lovable brother-in-law of Sylvester Stallone’s character in the “Rocky” franchise, appearing in all six films up until “Rocky Balboa” in 2006.

“To my Dear Friend, BURT YOUNG, you were an incredible man’s and artist, I and the World will miss you very much…RIP,” Stallone wrote on Instagram Wednesday evening.

The actor, who also painted, worked steadily over the decades and recently appeared as Joe across two episodes of Netflix’s “Russian Doll,” starring Natasha Leon.

Copyright © 2023 ABC News Internet Ventures.

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