For most of us, cinema is a way to escape reality and get lost in a fantasy world where, in the end, everything works out happily-ever-after. But do we ever stop and think about the actors who help us forget our pain for a few hours – who heals them when they hurt? Sylvester Stallone, who has entertained generations for ages now with his performances, resorted to an almost irrevocable silence after he lost his son, Sage.
Sage was the firstborn child of Stallone and his first wife, Sasha Czack. According to CNN, Sage died of a heart attack due to atherosclerosis in his Los Angeles apartment on July 13, 2012, at the young age of 36. His death shattered the Rocky star and in an emotional speech following the death, he begged for solitude and privacy while he grieves.
“When a parent loses a child there is no greater pain. Therefore I am imploring people to respect my talented son’s memory and feel compassion for his loving mother Sasha. This agonizing loss will be felt for the rest of our lives. Sage was our first child and the center of our universe and I am humbly begging for all to have my son’s memory and soul left in peace,” said the actor’s statement, according to Metro.
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Stallone and Sage did go through a rough patch in their relationship after his divorce with Czack. But years later, they buried the hatchet and went to appear in movies and interviews together. Stallone worked with Sage in Rocky V and not to mention, they had a thunderous on-screen chemistry. Sage was already seen in movies like Daylight in 1996 where his father played the lead.
Having his father as a role model, Sage never looked back. He went on to become an actor and also donned the hat of a producer. While he did suffer ill-health on and off, no one ever anticipated him to die at such an early age.
His sudden and untimely death cast a deep impact on Stallone and he resorted to silence to cope with the tragic state of affairs. He chose to deal with his pain in silence and canceled all public appearances to allow him some time to grieve alone.
But a month later, on August 2012, the actor opened up about losing Sage during a film promotion. “It’s very, very tough. It’s a horrible situation, but time hopefully will heal, and you try to get through it, but it’s just something that’s a reality of life,” said Stallone. He continued, “It’s important to get back and try to start reliving your life, otherwise you can go into a spiral,” reported The Hollywood Reporter.
However, Stallone managed to spring back and paid a moving tribute to Sage through his Golden Globe Award-winning performance in Creed. According to Hello Magazine, when reporters asked him if the loss of his son impacted his work, he said, “Any time you can do things that are real, I think it’s very, very helpful, and with my son, I want to respect his memory, and I think we did so.”