Sylvester Stallone Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of 'Rocky II' : I Am 'Incredibly Grateful'

Rocky II debuted in theaters on June 15, 1979

Forty years fly by in a flash.

Sylvester Stallone shared a sweet message to his fans on Instagram as he celebrated the 40th anniversary of his 1979 sequel film Rocky II.

Stallone 72, shared a screenshot of a The Shadow League article touting his movie as the “ultimate sequel.”

“A heartfelt thank you for accepting these characters and their stories into your lives!!” Stallone wrote in the caption. “It seems like only yesterday when Adrian was telling me to ‘WIN! And Mickey pushing me to be an ‘Italian Tank! an [sic] go through him!'”

He continued, “And finally the battle with the amazing Apollo Creed… So lucky I am, and incredibly grateful after all this time and I shall always be, Keep punching, Sly.”

The film, which was also written and directed by Stallone, follows Rocky Balboa as he retires from professional boxing and builds a family with his wife, Adrian (Talia Shire).

Rocky comes back out of retirement after his adversary Apollo Creed goads him into a rematch. The film gave fans the classic Rocky line “Yo, Adrian, I did it!” after he defeated Creed and became the new heavyweight champion.

Sylvester Stallone
Everett Collection

In May, the actor shared a photo of himself with his pet turtles Cuff and Link on his Instagram. The turtles had originally appeared in his 1976 film Rocky and made their film comeback in 2018’s Creed II.

“In CREED 2 with my original buddies from the first Rocky … CUFF and LINK, now about 44 years old!” Stallone wrote in the caption.

The actor was also a dad to a bull mastiff named Butkus, who appeared in Rocky and Rocky II.

Stallone had to sell Butkus to a stranger outside of a 7-Eleven store “because I couldn’t afford food,” he wrote on Instagram in 2017.

“Then like a modern day miracle, the screenplay for Rocky sold, and I could buy him back, but the new owner knew I was desperate and charged me $15,000,” Stallone continued. “He was worth every penny!”

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