Hollywood is reeling from the death of one of the movie world’s most privileged scions. On Friday afternoon, Sage Stallone, 36, the son of action-movie icon Sylvester Stallone, was found dead in his Los Angeles home, authorities and his attorney said.
“Sylvester Stallone is devastated and grief-stricken over the sudden loss of his son,” the elder Stallone’s publicist, Michelle Bega, wrote in a statement. “His compassion and thoughts are with Sage’s mother, Sasha.”
Sylvester Stallone and Sasha Czack were married from 1974 through 1985. They had two children, Sage and Seargeoh (who was born in 1979).
Law enforcement was called to the burgeoning filmmaker and sometime actor’s home at 2:17 pm Friday and discovered the body. No signs of foul play or forced entry were found. “It sounds like a terrible tragedy,” LAPD commander Andrew Smith told People.com. Deputy Chief Ed Winter said during a press conference that prescription medications were found at the scene, but Smith said that initial reports of a drug overdose were premature. “It could have been a heart attack or a stroke,” the commander said.
At the press conference, Winter added that there were no signs of foul play and no note.
George Braunstein, an attorney who represented Sage Stallone, said a housekeeper found his body Friday afternoon. Acquaintances and friends became concerned because they hadn’t heard from Stallone in the previous day, Braunstein said.
After making his screen debut as a 14-year-old in 1990 in Rocky V, playing Rocky Balboa Jr. in the fifth installment of his father’s blockbuster boxing franchise, Stallone made his early movie-biz stripes by taking bit parts in his father’s mega-budgeted films—such as the 1996 action-thriller Daylight. Later he appeared in Vincent Gallo’s gritty indie Promises Written in Water.
Stallone moved behind the camera in 1995 to serve as an assistant to acclaimed cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond on the Richard Donner–directed action movie Assassins. Following that, Stallone shifted his aim to feature filmmaking with his 2006 film Vic, which premiered at the Palm Springs Film Festival and earned Stallone Best New Filmmaker honors at the Boston Film Festival.
Stallone also functioned as president of Grindhouse Releasing, which he had co-founded– Grindhouse is the only American distributor of forgotten exploitation fare such as Italian horror films as Cannibal Holocaust and Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond. He was also the president of Moonblood Pictures—named after his middle name--which put out Vic.
Christine Pelisek contributed to this report.