The hugely famous actor, producer, director Sylvester Stallone had a rough start. His life began with pregnancy complications that changed his fate forever.
Stallone’s biography at Wikipedia contains the amazing story:
Complications his mother suffered during labor forced her obstetricians to use two pairs of forceps during his birth; misuse of these accidentally severed a nerve and caused paralysis in parts of Stallone’s face. As a result, the lower left side of his face is paralyzed – including parts of his lip, tongue, and chin – an accident which has given Stallone his snarling look and slightly slurred speech.
That’s not all. Wikipedia also explains:
He spent his first five years in Hell’s Kitchen, bouncing between foster homes while his parents endured a troubled marriage.
So did Sly go from there to instant success? Nope. In fact, he sunk pretty low and nearly went broke!
Stallone had his first starring role in the soft core pornography feature film The Party at Kitty and Stud’s (1970). He was paid US $200 for two days’ work. Stallone later explained that he had done the film out of desperation after being evicted from his apartment and finding himself homeless for several days. He has also said that he slept three weeks in the New York City Port Authority bus station prior to seeing a casting notice for the film. In the actor’s words, “it was either do that movie or rob someone, because I was at the end – the very end – of my rope.”
Failure is the secret to success. Stallone endured hardship after hardship before finally finding his path. In fact, the story of Rocky is well-known. The actor wrote the screenplay himself in twenty hours straight, and then kept refusing bigger and bigger offers until someone finally allowed him to play the title role. That kind of denial would usually be thought of as foolish. But for this Hollywood legend, it was the secret to his career.