What happened to Sage Stallone? How Sylvester Stallone's son died

A new Netflix documentary about the Rocky star's life has viewers wanting to know what happened to Sage Stallone

Sage Stallone at a red carpet event in 1993
(Image credit: Getty Images)

New Netflix documentary Sly tells the life story of Sylvester Stallone, and it's left viewers wondering what happened to his son, Sage Stallone. 

If you were a fan of Beckham and want to know what to watch in November next, then Sly might be the documentary for you. The film looks at the life and career of Hollywood legend Sylvester Stallone, leaving TV fans wanting to know more about the actor's private life, such as who Sylvester Stallone's wife is

And one person in particular that has drawn interest from viewers is the Rocky star's first son, Sage. Though the documentary addresses it only briefly, the actor's untimely death at 36 years old has left many wondering what happened to Sage Stallone.

What happened to Sage Stallone and how did he die?

Sage Stallone died after suffering from coronary heart disease as a result of atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on the artery walls. He died in July 2012, at the age of 36.

Sage was found dead in his home at Studio City, Los Angeles, by a housekeeper, who his mother had asked to check on him. At the time reports emerged that he had died of an overdose, after authorities found bottles of prescription pills in his house. However, an autopsy determined there were no drugs in his system at the time of his death, other than an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Sylvester Stallone with his arm around a young Sage Stallone

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sage's funeral took place on July 21, 2012, at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Los Angeles, and he is buried at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.

Who was Sage Stallone's mother?

Sage Stallone was the son of Sasha Czack, Sylvester Stallone's first wife. Sylvester and Sasha were married in 1974 and divorced in 1985.

Sage was the Rocky star's eldest child, and the brother of Seargeoh "Seth" Stallone, and the half-brother of Sophia, Sistine, and Scarlet Stallone, whom Sly shares with his current wife, Jennifer Flavin.

What films had Sage Stallone been in?

Sage Stallone made his acting debut alongside his father in Rocky V, in which he played Robert Balboa Jr, Rocky's son. 

He also appeared alongside Sylvester Stallone in Daylight in 1996 and starred in The Evil Inside Me in 1993.

In 1996, Sage co-founded Grindhouse Releasing, a Los Angeles-based company dedicated to the restoration and preservation of exploitation films of the 1970s and '80s.

In his adult life, sage worked as a director and producer, and directed the 2006 short film Vic, his directorial debut. He went on to win the "Best New Filmmaker" award at the 2006 Boston Film Festival.

As a child, Sage made an appearance on Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, which was promoted by his grandmother Jackie Stallone.

His last projects were appearances in Vincent Gallo's last two films, Promises Written in Water and The Agent

Sylvester Stallone with his arm around Sage Stallone in a still from Rocky V

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What has Sylvester Stallone said about his son?

Sylvester Stallone has not publicly opened up about his son's death, but a month after Sage died he made a public appeal for an end to "speculation and questionable reporting" about his son using drugs.

He said in a statement: "Because when a parent loses a child there is no greater pain. Therefore I am imploring people to respect my wonderfully talented son’s memory and feel compassion for his loving mother, Sasha, because this agonizing loss will be felt for the rest of our lives. Sage was our first child and the centre of our universe and I am humbly begging for all to have my son’s memory and soul left in peace."

In the new documentary, Sly, the Rocky actor doesn't discuss his son's death, however the viewer is shown archive clips from Rocky V, in which Sylvester tells the camera that his character’s storyline in that film - in which he was ignoring his family for his work - was based on his own life.

He described the storyline as being "almost too personal," while his friend, director John Herzfeld, said that Sylvester had his real son cast in the movie to help him break into acting.

"His son, Sage, he put him in it. He wrote him in it. He wanted to give him this opportunity that was so hard for Sly to get," he said.

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Ellie Hutchings
Features Editor

Ellie is Goodto’s Feature Editor, having joined the team as a Junior Features Writer in 2022, and covers everything from wellbeing for parents to the latest TV and entertainment. Ellie has covered all the latest trends in the parenting world, including baby names, parenting hacks, and foodie tips for busy families. She has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University, and previously Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies.