Sylvester Stallone Defied His Wife’s Demands to Retrieve His Dog from Man Who Extorted an Iconic Scene in Rocky from Actor in Return

Sylvester Stallone, struggling with financial issues, had to sell his dog, but regaining him proved to be a challenging task for the actor.


Sylvester Stallone Defied His Wife’s Demands To Get His Dog Back From Man Who Extorted an Iconic Scene in Rocky From Actor in Return

SUMMARY

Sylvester Stallone recounted his life’s worst moment, where he had to sell his dog, Butkus, for approximately $60 to Little Jimmy.
But after eventually sealing a deal with a studio, Stallone was adamant about getting Butkus back, however, Little Jimmy, with no intentions of giving him back, asked for an outrageous sum of $3000.


Stallone, who reasonably refused to pay the price, then proceeded to agree to Little Jimmy’s other demand, which involved him starring in Rocky.

The early ’70s were a rough time for Sylvester Stallone, with a kid on the way and no money in his hands, the actor struggled to make ends meet for himself and his then-wife Sasha Czack.

While he had his Rocky script under his belt, for which several studios offered a healthy sum, Stallone didn’t budge as he wanted to star as the lead in the sports drama.

With reportedly $106 left in his bank account, he reluctantly decided to sell his dog in order to pay the bills, as it was either his wife and him or the dog that was getting food at the end of the day.

However, getting his dog, Butkus, back from the buyer would become a tedious chore, following the buyer’s irrational demand.


Sylvester Stallone and his dog ButkusSylvester Stallone and his dog Butkus
Sylvester Stallone Agreed to Put His Little Jimmy in Rocky to Get Butkus Back

During his appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Sylvester Stallone recounted the lowest episode in his life, in which conditions forced him to sell his dog Butkus for around $60 to Little Jimmy.

But after eventually sealing the deal with a studio, the actor was adamant about getting Butkus back, however, Little Jimmy, with no intentions of giving him back, asked for an outrageous sum of $3000.

Stallone, who reasonably refused to pay the price, then proceeded to agree to Little Jimmy’s other demand, which involved him starring in the sports drama. Stallone recalled,

“I had to sell my dog. I said one of us doesn’t eat, it’s either you, my wife, or the dog… Finally, I get the job I go back to the fellow I sold it to, he’s a short guy, really short… He paid me like $60 and he goes I’ll give you the dog back for $3000, I say ‘I don’t have $3000’… He goes, ‘alright I want to be in the movie’, So I put him in the movie.”

The little scene involves Rocky saying “What are you deaf?”, to which Little Jimmy replies, “No, I’m short”. While the story has varied from telling to telling, which does add a bit of skepticism to the entire matter, considering Sylvester Stallone’s was hand-to-mouth prior to Rocky, it’s certainly possible.


Sylvester Stallone as Rocky BalboaSylvester Stallone
The risk of not selling the script did pay off, as not only did Rocky make a fortune at the box office, but it also bagged an Oscar Win for Best Picture.

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