Burt Young, born Gerald Tommaso DeLouise on April 30, 1940 is an American actor, painter and author. He is best known for his Academy Award-nominated role as Sylvester Stallone’s brother-in-law and best friend Paulie Pennino in the Rocky film series. Young was born in Queens, New York, the son of Josephine and Michael, a high school shop teacher.He is of Italian descent.He was trained by Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. Young is a widower and has one daughter, Anne Morea. He lives in Port Washington, New York. Young made his name playing rough-edged working class Italian-American characters, the best-known example being his signature role as Sylvester Stallone’s brother-in-law Paulie in Rocky (1976), for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He is one of four actors (the other three being Stallone, Stu Nahan and Tony Burton) who have appeared in every Rocky film (although Talia Shire also appears in the first five films and makes a flashback appearance in the sixth).
He has played similar roles in Chinatown, Convoy, Back to School, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Once Upon a Time in America, Last Exit to Brooklyn, Downtown: A Street Tale, and even a brutal and darker role in Amityville II: The Possession. Young has also appeared in many television programs, including The Rockford Files, Baretta, Law & Order, Walker, Texas Ranger, M*A*S*H, guest-starred in a Miami Vice episode, and made an appearance on The Sopranos (“Another Toothpick”) as Bobby Baccalieri’s father, who is dying of cancer and comes out of retirement to execute a hit on his godson.
Young is a painter whose art has been displayed in galleries throughout the world. As an artist, he has collaborated with the writer Gabriele Tinti, for whom he designed the cover for the poetry collection All over, as well as contributing the illustrations for the art book A man. Young is also a published author whose works include two filmed screenplays and a 400-page historically based novel called Endings.
He has written two stage plays: SOS and A Letter to Alicia and the New York City Government From a Man With a Bullet in His Head.