Very few actors have so embedded themselves in the cultural zeitgeist that the mere mention of the character’s name can describe a person in a situation. Rocky will forever be every scrappy underdog. Rambo will always be the wronged person taking justice into their own hands. Both of these characters belong to one of Hollywood’s living legends. He is a brother of the leaf and a man who goes by the nickname “Sly:” Cigar lover Sylvester Stallone.
The Underdog Endures
Never contented with being a background player or an extra, Stallone busted out in 1976 with the Oscar-winning Rocky, which he wrote. Rather than sell the rights and let someone else play the eponymous role, he stuck to his guns and got his way. After a few sequels, Stallone was a household name. Five decades later, the Rocky saga continues to breathe new life into the franchise, with Stallone passing the torch to Michael B. Jordan.
Action Heroes of the ’80s
The 1980s was a golden decade for brawny action movies. Careers of action heroes like Stallone, good friend, and cigar enthusiast Arnold Schwarzenegger launched into orbit. First, Stallone’s portrayal of the PTSD-suffering soldier cum vigilante John Rambo in the Rambo series became a fixture on the big screen. Then, four decades later, they cashed in with The Expendables franchise poking fun at the aging action heroes.
A New Brother of the Leaf is Born
Stallone was no stranger to cigarettes. That’s particularly true when he struggled with his acting career in the 70s. Sylvester Stallone’s smoking habit dates back to when he was 12. Time, however, has a funny way of changing and transforming our habits. In Stallone’s case, you might even call it an epiphany.
When he filmed FIST, he discovered a love for cigars that would stretch across time and maybe even the cosmos. But, more importantly, he also found a transformation effect the cigars had on him and his different roles. Then, this brother of the leaf fell in love with fine cigars and the cigar lifestyle. What’s notable to remember, though, is that his role in FIST offers a rare glimpse of Stallone pictured on-screen with one of the cigars he has become known for.
Quiet on the Set!
Like many other fine actors, Stallone is known for mingling with fellow actors and cigar aficionados on the set. Carl Weathers, best known for his role as Apollo Creed in Rocky, credits Stallone for introducing him to cigars. Another well-known actor and cigar lover, Arnold Schwarzenegger, appeared with Stallone in The Expendables. Off-screen, however, the two are rumored to have had cigar-smoking sessions that were nothing less than renowned. Finally, during the filming of Copland, Stallone also enjoyed some great smokes with another well-known cigar aficionado – Robert DeNiro.
What Does a Legendary Brother of the Leaf Smoke?
Stallone’s love of cigars runs coast to coast deep, literally. He keeps several well-stocked humidors in both his homes – on the East Coast and the West Coast. Like any well-supplied humidor, all contain a broad range of trophy cigars. However, his favorite cigar remains the rare Fuente Opus X. He prefers to smoke at night. During the day, Stallone smokes a different kind of cigar, with his preferences tending toward a minor smoke similar in size to a Robusto. Yet, if you ask him which cigar is his favorite during the day, he’ll likely name the Partagas Series D Number 4.
No Rest for the Weary
Sylvester Stallone has spent five decades in his acting career, but don’t worry. He’s certainly not showing any signs that he’s ready to slow down anytime soon. However, you’ll often find him relaxing with a fine cognac and a cigar at the end of the day. He picked up the game of golf late in life and loved its philosophical aspects. Plus, it’s a perfect time for this brother of the leaf to smoke a few of his favorites. Even though he struggled at golf initially, like everything else in his life, he refused to quit. He continues to live by his mantra to keep pursuing and being what he calls a “positive pest.” That work ethic shows no sign of wavering!
Photo Credit: “Photo taken at the private party after the premiere of the movie FIST, April 13, 1978,” by Alan Light, Wikimedia Commons license CC BY 2.0.