ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

Today is Sylvester Stallone's 70th birthday, a fact which may be hard to believe for the millions of fans who, despite spending five decades seeing him on screen, have only watched the star become more and more of an action icon as the years pass.

With a career that began in 1969, it didn't take long for Stallone to start securing roles in films that would set him on the path to become Hollywood's most famous action star. Join in the celebrations of Sly's 70th birthday, and relive his five most iconic roles from his five decades in showbiz below.

5. Barney Ross - Expendables franchise

In 2010 Sylvester Stallone proved that he was still the action star he'd always been when he starred as Barney Ross in The Expendables. The film centered on a group of mercenaries (lead by Stallone) who undertake a deadly mission to eliminate a dictator, only to uncover more than they bargained for. Since the release of the original movie a further two sequels have been made, with a third reportedly in the works.

4. Sergeant John Spartan - Demolition Man

Set in a future non-violent society, Demolition Man saw Sylvester Stallone take on the role of Sergeant John Spartan, a cop brought out of suspended animation in order to track down an ultra-violent career criminal on the loose.

3. Gabe Walker - Cliffhanger

In perhaps one of the most creative heist films ever, Stallone starred in Cliffhanger as mountain climber Gabe Walker (he also co-wrote the film!). After the heist of a U.S. Treasury plane goes terribly wrong, Walker finds himself caught up in it when the criminals need Walker's expertise to escape the mountains with their lives, and their money.

2. Rocky Balboa - Rocky franchise

Over the course of seven Rocky films (including the recent sequel spin-off, Creed), Stallone played Rocky Balboa, a small time boxer with a nothing life. But, after finding love and the drive to pursue a career in boxing, Rocky pulls himself out of his former life and fights for self-respect, as well as the title of World Heavyweight Champion.

1. John Rambo - Rambo franchise

After being met with a less than warm welcome in a small town, Stallone's John Rambo ends up fighting for his life against a corrupt sheriff and his men in harsh mountains surrounding the town.

Following the success of First Blood, Stallone reprised his role as former Green Beret John Rambo for a further three films, with the franchise banking over $700 million worldwide.

Who is your favorite Sylvester Stallone character?


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