Sylvester Stallone has become one of the most iconic Hollywood stars of all time. He made a mark in the industry in the 1980s with his incredible sports and drama franchise Rocky, but he also became an action hero. He later went on to star in the likes of Rambo and Demolition Man. But before all of that, he was just trying to make ends meet. He had a pregnant wife, Sasha Czack, and no money in the bank. The future star had a tough decision to make.
Stallone wrote script for Rocky but was struggling to find a production company to purchase it from him and put it into action. He had a few stipulations for the script, as well. He wanted to star in the film as the titular hero, and he wanted full creative control over the final movie. These demands were a little too tough for most companies, so he was left with no income, a baby on the way, and rising rent.
In an act of desperation, he went to a local liquor store and started asking people if they wanted to buy his dog for $100.
When Stallone eventually found a buyer, the grief-stricken star walked away sobbing.
Stallone could only sell his dog for $50, which no doubt made the ordeal even more horrific for the star. He spoke about the event in 2013, saying: “Yeah, I sold my bull mastiff Butkus to a little person. I tied my dog up at the store with a sign that said a hundred bucks. I got $50 from this guy called Little Jimmy.”
Stallone was absolutely heartbroken that he had to sell his beloved pup – but his tables soon turned.
Stallone replied by saying: “You’ve only had him for one f*****g week!” He remembered: “[Little Jimmy] wanted to fight me and he said he was gonna kill me – he was a crazy little person! I couldn’t fight him – they’d arrest me – so I offered to pay double.”
Stallone explained he received “several threats” from Little Jimmy before the pair settled on a fee.
A week after selling his beloved pooch for $50 to Little Jimmy, Stallone bought him back for $3,000.
He did end up giving Little Jimmy a massive break in his own career, however.
Stallone revealed how he gave Little Jimmy a role in Rocky when it was eventually released in 1976. He said: “I ended up putting him in the movie. Do you remember in Rocky, when the little guy goes: ‘Hey, did ya win?’ and I go: ‘What are you, deaf?’ and he goes: ‘No, I’m short!’ That’s him.”
Rocky is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video now.