This throwback of one man and his dog packs an emotional punch. Sylvester Stallone posted a sweet tribute Thursday to Butkus, the bull mastiff who was his training partner in “Rocky” and “best friend” in real life.
Two photos the 70-year-old actor published on Instagram perfectly captured their bond.
Stallone recalled when he was broke and living in a New York City “flophouse” with “hot and cold running roaches.”
Butkus was there for him in the truest sense. “I relied on him for his companionship,” Sly wrote.
Man and beast came out winners. “Rocky” (1976), the iconic story of an underdog boxer, became a hit and earned the Oscar for Best Picture, launching Stallone to stardom.
Butkus (named for the Chicago Bears linebacker Dick Butkus) put in such a strong performance that he returned to appear in “Rocky II.” He died in 1981.
Here’s Rocky Balboa (Stallone) getting Butkus as a gift from love interest Adrian Pennino (Talia Shire) in the original …
And the two training together.
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