Mystery surrounds the exact cause of the death of Sylvester Stallone’s son Sage
Sage Stallone, 36, was an actor and producer-director who first appeared opposite his father in Rocky V, playing Robert Balboa Jr, the on-screen son of his father’s iconic boxing character.
Stallone was said to be “devastated” by the death of his son.
“Sylvester Stallone is devastated and grief-stricken over the sudden loss of his son,” Stallone’s publicist Michelle Bega said in a statement.
“His compassion and thoughts are with Sage’s mother [actress Sasha Czack] … Sage was a very talented and wonderful young man. His loss will be felt forever,” she added.
According to reports, Sage’s body was found by his housekeeper on Friday afternoon at his apartment in Studio City.
The woman had gone to investigate the property when Sage’s friends had raised the alarm after not hearing from him. The police were then called.
Assistant chief coroner Ed Winter said that prescription pill bottles had been recovered at the scene, but that there was no sign of foul play. He also said that the medications were not necessarily involved. “It could have been a heart attack or a stroke,” he told a news conference. Winter also said that there was no suicide note.
An autopsy will now be performed on Sage’s body in the next 48 hour or so but the release of full toxicology reports, which could reveal what, if any, role medication played in the tragedy, could take several weeks.
Sage’s lawyer, George Braunstein, said the young man had shown no signs of being unhappy and speculated that the death was some sort of accident.
“We don’t have any of the details. He wasn’t depressed. He was thinking about getting married. He had his whole life ahead of him,” he told the Los Angeles Times.
The celebrity website RadarOnline seemed to back up that point of view. “I saw him two weeks ago and he seemed great He was healthy and upbeat and didn’t seem depressed at all,” the website quoted an unnamed friend of the dead actor as saying.
Sage was born in 1976 and was one of two sons of Stallone and Czack. He had been married briefly but had the union annulled in 2008.
His acting career was him play short roles in various movies and projects, including another appearance with his father in the 1996 action movie Daylight in which people struggle to escape a collapsed road tunnel in New York city.
He also appeared in Promises Written in Water, by controversial independent director Vincent Gallo.
Sage Stallone also got behind the screen and in 2006 he directed the short film “Vic” which screened at the Palm Springs Film Festival. The piece features an elderly, down-on-his-luck Hollywood actor trying to make a come back.
But Sage’s main focus was as a co-founder of Grindhouse Releasing, which specialised in the restoration and release of B-movies from the 1980s and 1970s.
Such movies often had outlandish titles – I Drink Your Blood and Cannibal Holocaust, for example – and were famed for their extreme, if cartoonish, violence.
However, after receiving attention from the likes of Quentin Tarantino, who in 2007 released two mock “grindhouse” films – Planet Terror and Death Proof – the genre had become fashionable and the subject of keen interest from film fans.
Sylvester Stallone, who last week was at the Comic Con fan convention in San Diego promoting his latest film The Expendables Two, has three other children by his third and current wife, Jennifer Flavin. – The Guardian (UK)