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Sylvester Stallone on TV: How His Star Power Went Beyond the Big Screen

Image: Sylvester Stallone on TV: How His Star Power Went Beyond the Big Screen
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By    |   Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 08:22 PM

Sylvester Stallone's a big-screen kind of guy. Just about all of his work has been for the movies. Even when there was talk of spinning off his second-most iconic character, John Rambo, into a TV series, Stallone said he wouldn't play Rambo on the small screen.

But, Stallone has been on TV. It's just that American audiences might not have seen him.

Soon after his "Rocky" star rose, Stallone was also a special guest on NBC's telecast of the Ken Norton–Duane Bobick boxing match in 1977. Associated Press writer Howard Smith said the 58-second bout left fans wanting much more – and Stallone talking about his "Rocky" role, then teaming with Apollo Creed portrayer Carl Weathers to re-create their movie bout, was "the highlight of the show."

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The contender for his biggest television role would be "The Contender," a 2005 reality show in which he and real-life boxer Sugar Ray Leonard hosted an elimination-style boxing competition among 16 young hopefuls, focusing on their training, their families, and their personal lives.

Stallone was replaced partway through as a co-host by actor Tony Danza, who told Vulture he was an improvement compared to Stallone because he, Danza, had actually been a club boxer, whereas Stallone had not.

Philadelphians might better remember a commercial, promoting the 2003 football matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, featuring Stallone as himself going through a boxer's training regimen.

Stallone took time away from filming "The Expendables 3" so his character, Barney Ross, could star in this all-out attack of a commercial for Remia Real American BBQ Sauce. The commercial was also intended as cross-promotion for the movie, which came out later in 2014.

Stallone has also been credited appearing as himself in several overseas commercials: Ito Sausages (Japan, 1992), Kirin Beer (Japan, 1992), Volkswagen (Brazil, 2008, with supermodel Giselle Bundchen), RISECredit.com (2013, featuring archive clips from "Rocky"), and for Synergy's Russian Ice Vodka.

Of course, Stallone has appeared a few times as a guest star on TV, such as "Vegas" in 2005 and HBO's "Dream On" in 1991.

In 2002, Stallone lent his voice to the animated "Liberty's Kids" episode, "Midnight Ride." He gives voice to an animated cartoon version of the original midnight rider, Paul Revere.

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Sylvester Stallone's a big-screen kind of guy. Just about all of his work has been for the movies. But, Stallone has been on TV. It's just that American audiences may have missed him.
sylvester stallone, tv, star, power
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2015-22-18
Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 08:22 PM
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