Burt Young

A prolific and immediately recognizable character actor in films and television, Burt Young's half-muttered voice and flinty gaze made the world of low-rent mobsters, blue collar workers and world-weary police detectives his province since the early 1970s. He came to acting through Lee Strasberg and appeared on the off-Broadway stage before making the leap to film in 1970. Numerous supporting roles as losers, thugs and tough guys preceded his memorable role in "Rocky" (1976) as Sylvester Stallone's ill-mannered brother-in-law, Paulie Pennino. He would reprise the role in all of the subsequent "Rocky" sequels while enjoying turns in a wide variety of films and television series, most notably a memorable guest spot on "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1999-2007), playing a dying Mafia soldier who executes his own godson. Despite his crude onscreen persona, Young was something of a Renaissance man in private life, with several film scripts, stage plays and a novel to his name, as well as a successful second career as an artist.