Sylvester Stallone’s dog is a beloved and well-known companion of the Hollywood actor and filmmaker. The dog, named Butkus, was a Bullmastiff who played a significant role in Stallone’s life and career.
Butkus was adopted by Stallone during a time when the actor was struggling financially and living in a small apartment with his wife. Butkus soon became a faithful companion and even appeared alongside Stallone in the first Rocky film, which became a massive success.
The dog’s role in the movie helped to solidify his place in Hollywood history and earned him a special place in the hearts of Stallone’s fans.
The Adoption of Butkus
During the early 1970s, Sylvester Stallone was a struggling actor trying to make ends meet in New York City. One day, he visited a pet store and stumbled upon a Bullmastiff puppy named Butkus, who was being sold for a bargain price due to his undersized appearance.
Stallone was immediately drawn to the pup’s affectionate nature, and despite having no money to spare, he decided to adopt him. Stallone and his wife took Butkus back to their small apartment and soon realized that he was not only a loyal companion but also a source of inspiration.
The actor often credits Butkus as the inspiration behind the Rocky character, and their bond would go on to shape both Stallone’s personal and professional life.
Butkus’s Role in Rocky
Butkus played a significant role in Stallone’s career-defining film, Rocky. Stallone had initially written the script without any mention of a dog, but when he brought Butkus to the set one day, director John G.
Avildsen saw the potential to include him in the film. Butkus was cast as the pet dog of Rocky Balboa, the film’s protagonist, and quickly became a fan favorite. In the movie, Butkus is portrayed as a loyal and loving companion to Rocky, following him around the city and offering emotional support during difficult times.
Butkus’s presence in the film helped to humanize Rocky and added depth to the character, contributing to the film’s success and legacy. Even years later, Stallone has continued to pay tribute to Butkus’s contribution to the film, calling him a “natural” actor who brought a special energy to the set.
Butkus’s Life After Rocky
After the success of Rocky, Butkus continued to be a beloved member of Stallone’s family and even made appearances in other films and television shows. He appeared in the 1979 film Rocky II, where he reprised his role as Rocky’s faithful companion. In addition to his film work, Butkus also appeared in commercials and print ads for various products.
Despite his fame, Butkus remained a down-to-earth dog who loved nothing more than spending time with his family. When he passed away in the mid-1980s, Stallone was devastated, and he has since paid tribute to Butkus in various ways, including dedicating the 2010 film The Expendables to him. Butkus’s legacy continues to live on through his role in Rocky and his impact on Stallone’s life and career.
The Bond Between Stallone and Butkus
The bond between Stallone and Butkus was a special one that went beyond the typical human-pet relationship. Stallone often spoke about how Butkus was his “first real friend,” and the two shared a deep understanding and affection for one another.
Butkus was there for Stallone during some of the toughest times in his life, including his struggles as an actor and the loss of his sister to cancer. In return, Stallone provided Butkus with a loving home and a life of luxury that included frequent walks, trips to the park, and plenty of treats.
The bond between Stallone and Butkus was evident on the set of Rocky, where the dog’s presence brought a sense of comfort and familiarity to Stallone during the filming process. Their relationship was a reminder of the power of the human-animal bond and the positive impact that pets can have on our lives.
Frequently Asked Question
What kind of dog was Butkus?
Butkus was a Bullmastiff, a large breed of dog that is known for its loyalty, affection, and protective nature.
How did Butkus get his name?
Stallone named his dog after Dick Butkus, a legendary NFL linebacker who was known for his toughness and tenacity on the field.
Did Butkus appear in any other films besides Rocky?
Yes, Butkus made a brief appearance in Rocky II, and he also appeared in a few commercials and print ads.
Did Stallone have any other pets besides Butkus?
Yes, Stallone has had several dogs over the years, including a bulldog named Meatball who appeared in Rocky Balboa.
What happened to Butkus after he passed away?
Stallone was devastated by Butkus’s passing and has since paid tribute to him in various ways, including dedicating the film The Expendables to him. Stallone has also shared photos and stories of Butkus on social media, keeping his memory alive.
What can we learn from the bond between Stallone and Butkus?
The bond between Stallone and Butkus is a reminder of the power of the human-animal bond and the positive impact that pets can have on our lives. It shows that pets can be a source of comfort, companionship, and inspiration, and that the love we share with them can transcend species boundaries.
Butkus the Bullmastiff was more than just a pet to Sylvester Stallone – he was a source of inspiration, a loyal companion, and a beloved family member.
Their bond, both on and off screen, has left a lasting impression on Stallone’s life and career, and serves as a reminder of the profound impact that pets can have on our lives.