Despite his flourishing career, Sylvester Stallone had a rough life with his kids. The oldest one even died.
The father of five took care of his son even after doctors advised him to put him in a special facility.
Sylvester raises millions to find a cure for his child.
Movie star Sylvester Stallone is one proud and loving father of five children. Sadly, he has experienced a lot of pain in relation to two of his kids.
The esteemed actor had a very successful acting career but endured trauma. He tragically lost his oldest child, Sage Stallone, who died from heart disease at age 36 in July 2012 at his LA home.
Actor Sylvester Stallone pictured with his son Sage Stallone during a scene in the movie, “Rocky V” on January 1, 1990 ┃Source: Getty Images
Following the news of his death, there were speculations that he died due to drugs. However, an autopsy report proved otherwise, as the Los Angeles County coroner cited atherosclerotic coronary artery disease as the cause of death.
Sage regularly took multiple prescribed medications; hence Vicodin was found in his system, which appeared on the drug test. Still, the drug test came out negative.
Those who knew the film producer shared that Sage lived a different life from his world-famous father. He barely went to the gym and consumed junk food.
Sylvester released a statement shortly after his son’s death and addressed the controversial reports about the cause of Sage’s passing:
“When a parent loses a child, there is no greater pain. Therefore, I am imploring people to respect my wonderfully talented son’s memory and feel compassion for his loving mother, Sasha, because this agonizing loss will be felt for the rest of our lives.”
The grieving father said Sage meant the world to him and that in his honor, he was graciously asking the public to leave his soul in peace.
Sylvester Stallone during his appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on November 11, 2022 ┃Source: Getty Images
Sylvester also discovered devastating news about his second child, son Seargeoh Stallone. During an appearance on “The Arsenio Hall Show” in 1990, the father of five revealed that he burst into tears when he learned that Seargeoh had autism:
“That was bad. That was a really bad situation, and I can’t recall after that, really having that kind of pain.”
After learning about the diagnosis, Sylvester devoted himself even more to his youngest son, who was three years old. The “Rocky” star was married to his first wife then, Sasha Czack, with whom he shared Seargeoh and Sage.
Sylvester Stallone and his wife Sasha Czack at the “Ghostbusters” Westwood premiere at Avco Center Cinemas on June 7, 1984 in Westwood, California ┃Source: Getty Images
Before discovering that their youngest child had autism, the couple instantly sought help once they noticed something was wrong with his communication skills.
Seargeoh had a uniqueness about him. He could pen letters and draw and repeat some vocabulary at a very early age. Therefore, his parents referred to him as their “silent genius.”
Little did they know that their son was suffering from a medical condition. Autism is a disorder that affects five in 10,000 kids who lack social and communication skills. Many of those affected become self-destructive and are considered violent. Fortunately for Seargeoh, his father disclosed that he was not violent. Notably, his condition cannot be treated or cured.
Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa, Seargeoh Stallone as Robert ‘Rocky’ Jr. and Talia Shire as (Adrian Pennino) in the movie, “Rocky II” ┃Source: YouTube/@Movieclips
Sylvester and Czack “both broke down” after learning about their son’s diagnosis. They were advised to place Seargeoh in an institution, but they decided against it and took over caring for their child.
Still, the filmmaker had work obligations and was absent most of the time, leaving Czack to take on the full responsibility. “I knew that Sly couldn’t get as involved because of his work. We do what we have to do. So, I just said, ‘Give me the money, and I’ll take care of it,’” the actress revealed to People in June 1985.
Caring for His Autistic ‘Silent Son’
Czack and Sylvester welcomed Seargeoh in 1979, and he followed in their footsteps by becoming an actor. However, his career was short-lived as he only appeared in one film, “Rocky II,” alongside his father.
Seargeoh’s parents divorced in February 1985 after being married for eleven years. During that period, he experienced difficulties associated with autism.
The New York native followed his son’s lead in whatever he did, and the duo played puzzles together. The doting dad said although Seargeoh had shown impeccable memory, he struggled to “apply what he had learned.” Whenever he was in town to see him, the award-winning star would ensure that he kept his child active. He shares:
“I have tried to build my yard into a New England playground environment, where Seargeoh could go outside and relate to nature and hear the flowing water. That seems to bring him out a little.”
Raising Millions to Cure His Son
While their son lived away from the public eye, Sylvester and his former wife dedicated their time to research to find a cure for him. The pair set up a research fund to raise money for the National Society for Children and Adults with Autism.
“Sasha does the hard, in-the-trenches warfare. I use my films to have premieres that raise money for the fund,” Sylvester once stated.
Seargeoh was diagnosed during the peak of his father’s career. In the ’80s, Sylvester used two movie premieres, private donations, and a telethon to raise $1 million for the cause.
Of the achievement, the “The Expendables” star — who also shares daughters Sistine, Sophia, and Scarlet with his third wife, Jennifer Flavin — said for a person to be successful, they need to dive in blindly with a positive mindset.
Sylvester noted that although he was not the most wealthy, intelligent, or gifted, he thrived because he broke down barriers wherever he could.
Sylvester Stallone ┃Seargeoh Stallone and Sylvester Stallone ┃Source: Getty Images