Meta Description: Sylvester Stallone is an acting legend and has played some memorable characters on screen. Let’s take a look at the most iconic and memorable ones.
Title: Iconic Characters Played by Sylvester Stallone
Alt Text: Sylvester Stallone signs autographs for fans.
Sylvester Stallone has an inspiring story to tell, one which goes back way before the huge success of the Rocky franchise that began in the 1970s. He not only starred as Rocky but he also wrote, directed, and produced a majority of the films. Rocky was a launchpad for his success and made him a certified movie star who would go on to act in countless action films. Let’s take a look at some of the iconic characters that Sylvester Stallone played during the height of his film success.
1. Dean “The Dean” in Shade (2003)
Shade is set in the world of poker hustlers working the tables in the clubs and bars of Los Angeles. The film follows a trio of grifters who attempt to trap an elusive legendary card shark and poker player nicknamed “The Dean” (played by Stallone). They go on to set up a successful sting, but this results in them being pursued by a vengeful gangster.
2. Ray Breslin in Escape Plan (2013)
Ray Breslin is a brilliant structural engineer. He is some sort of consultant who imprisons himself in penitentiaries all over the globe and then attempts to escape. In theory, this helps identify the vulnerabilities of the facilities he is held captive in.
3. Freddy Heflin in Cop Land (1997)
Cop Land features one of Stallone’s finest performances, as Freddy Heflin. Freddy is a small-town Sheriff in New Jersey. When corruption begins to spread among the cops, Heflin is forced to act.
4. Gabe Walker in Cliffhanger (1993)
After coming across a group of mercenaries stranded on a mountain, Gabe must survive the deadly villains as well as the mountain itself. Cliffhanger is one of the many movies that came out after Die Hard that seem to be somewhat directly inspired by the Bruce Willis Christmas favorite, and one of the better “hero versus villain” action movies of the day. It has even been referred to as “Die Hard on a mountain”, and Stallone’s portrayal of Gabe Walker, a skilled mountain climber, is one not to be missed.
5. Stakar Ogord in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Stallone’s part in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is little more than a cameo and it’s extremely fun to watch this action movie where the legend joins the MCU even though it’s for a small role. Stallone plays Stakar, one of the top Ravager leaders and an old comrade of Yondu.
It’s a pity that we do not get to see Sly kicking some space butt in the film, however, being a leader of the Ravagers is still quite badass nonetheless.
6. John Spartan in Demolition Man (1993)
Demolition Man is set in a future where there is a 0% crime rate, but it’s not Utopia. After a deadly killer from the 20th century is brought out of cryogenic sleep, the unprepared police officers are forced to bring back the only man who ever caught him, John Spartan. Stallone’s super cool but still rough around the edges character proves humorous as well as endearing. The movie makes for some great comedy, as Spartan hunts down the psycho killer played by Wesley Snipes.
7. Raymond Tango in Tango & Cash (1989)
We usually get to see Stallone as a one-man army, but in Tango and Cash we see him just as effective in a buddy cop scenario. Stallone plays Raymond Tango, a refined and classy Los Angeles cop who is forced to work with the unkempt and somewhat sloppy Lt. Gabe Cash, played by Kurt Russell. Framed by a drug lord, the duo partner up to clear their records and take down the drug lord once and for all.
8. Barney Ross in The Expendables (2010, 2012, 2014)
Billed as “The Avengers of action movies”, The Expendables brings together some of the most iconic actors of the action genre in the ultimate action-packed, team-up film. Although the movies never quite lived up to their expectations, they were still extremely fun adventures with Stallone’s Barney Ross leading the bunch.
9. Marion Cobretti in Cobra (1986)
Cobra is probably the most over-the-top action film in Stallone’s repertoire, which let’s face it, is saying a lot. Marion Cobretti, played by Stallone, is the ultimate badass cop, complete with aviator sunglasses and a match stick dangling from his lip. The film sees him going up against a murderous cult to protect the sole witness from being slain.
10. Rocky Balboa in Rocky (1976, 1979, 1982, 1985, 1990, 2006)
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the iconic Rocky Balboa. After all, it was Rocky that launched Stallone’s acting career! Since the first movie, Stallone has returned to the part in six Rocky installments and two films in the Creed franchise. Rocky begins his now-famous boxing journey as a working-class fighter with a shot at the title.
11. John Rambo in Rambo (1982, 1985, 1988, 2008)
That famous red band and bravado are what makes this movie truly kickass! John Rambo is a Vietnam veteran, haunted by the ghosts of his past from the war. He finds himself lost in bad memories as well as deadly situations. The movie, First Blood, saw Stallone fighting back against corrupt cops who attacked him, and to date, he has fought in Vietnam, Burma, and Afghanistan. He has become more brutal and way more proficient with his tactics over the years and his final outing as Rambo promises to be an adrenalin-pumping peace out.