Of course, those few starring or minor characters aren’t the only acting credits that Stallone had. However, pretty much everything else is very small, uncredited roles. These include appearing as a soldier sitting at a table in the film “MASH,” a party guest in the film “Pigeons,” a subway thug in the Woody Allen film “Bananas,” and as an extra in the psychological thriller “Klute.” He also had a slightly bigger role in the 1975 film “The Prisoner of Second Avenue.”
The lead, played by Jack Lemmon, chases and mugs Stallone’s character, believing him to be a pickpocket. That moment came after a really important role that would help keep Stallone afloat until he stepped into the ring. It took a little more time for Stallone to figure things out, and that time wasn’t easy.
Another Embarrassing Credit to His Name
Yet another early role that might make Stallone blush is the off-broadway stage play “Score” which ran for twenty-three performances at the Martinique Theatre from October to November in 1971. Yet again, this bit of art was erotic, and the story was later made into the 1974 film “Score” by Radley Metzger.
In the play, a couple has a bet that the wife has to seduce a married woman before midnight. It was part of the thankfully brief time of adult films made to vogue and chic. What’s worse, Stallone didn’t even play one of the main characters – he has a brief role as a telephone repairman. Maybe one day Sylvester will be able to be in a project that isn’t embarrassing.
Biding His Time
During this time, Stallone lived in New York City with his girlfriend, aspiring actress Sasha Czack. Czack supported the both of them by working as a waitress while she was working on her acting. At the same time, Stallone took a number of odd jobs, including working as a cleaner at a zoo and a theater usher. The second one didn’t last too long, since he was fired for scalping tickets. He was trying to get roles, but nothing was lining up (despite his sterling acting resume).
However, at the same time, he was spending his free time at the library, reading to try and improve his storytelling and writing abilities. While there, he became particularly interested in the works of Edgar Allen Poe, even though that famous writer didn’t have much influence on Stallone’s eventual original works.
About to Throw in the Towel
By the year of 1972, Stallone was considering giving up the acting dream for good. He would later describe this period as another low point. He was very nearly an extra in “The Godfather,” but could even get such a paltry role. He did manage to get a job as an extra in another hit, “What’s Up, Doc?” which, while not as fondly remembered as “The Godfather,” was still seen by millions of people, and even starred Barbra Streisand as the female lead.
It was even named number sixty-one on the 100 Greatest American Comedies list put out by the American Film Institute. And, yes, Stallone is technically in the film, but he only has a few shots where he appears, and he’s barely visible in either of them.
Proper Starring Roles
Thankfully, Stallone was able to pull himself out of his acting funk with the help of a few proper starring roles. The first was that of Stanley, the main character in the film “The Lords of Flatbush,” which took more than two years to film thanks to budget issues, finally finishing in 1974. However, before that movie even finished filming, a second movie came along featuring Stallone as the top spot: the independent film “No Place to Hide.”
In it, Stallone plays a member of an urban terrorist movement who falls in love with a jewelry seller. After Stallone made it big, the movie was recut and edited to have him as the main character. It was later re-edited again, using outtakes and matching footage into a parody of itself called “A Man Called… Rainbo.”