Sasha Czack, a photographer, director, scriptwriter, and actress, has provided the entertainment industry with more than many realize. Here's her understated yet captivating story.
Sasha Czack's former husband became an icon in the action genre, embodying the spirit of his beloved character Rocky Balboa. However, his rise to fame was arguably impossible without his ex-wife Sasha Czack.
Czack caught the eye of Stallone at a young age. Although she keeps herself out of the public eye, the credit she may deserve for some of the most famous movies of the 20th century is truly understated.
Sasha Czack during City of Hope Celebrity Auction on January 11, 1981, in Beverly Hills | Source: Getty Images
Czack was born on July 17, 1950, in Chester, Pennsylvania. She attended the University of Notre Dame, and got a degree in media studies. She began working as a photographer and pop art icon Andy Warhol, who was a massive fan of Czack's artistry, wrote about her in his diaries:
"Sasha. She was there, she's cute and smart, she looks very young."
At the same time, when she began her work behind the camera, Czack also started looking for acting roles. This search was the beginning of a significant career in the entertainment industry.
Sasha Czack at “Opening at The Roxy” on January 14, 1978, in Los Angeles | Source: Getty Images
SASHA CZACK'S CAREER
Czack not only became an actress but a director too. She co-wrote 1976's "Rocky" and was the movie's lead still photographer but wasn't officially credited because of union rules at the time. The decision to co-write the sports drama film came about through the persuasion of her ex-husband and Rocky Balboa himself, Sylvester Stallone.
In the early 1970s, the budding actress was offered the lead in "Play It as It Lays." However, she chose not to take the role because Stallone, her then-fiancé, was adamant she not leave New York. He needed her assistance in writing what was to become the 1972 "Rocky" screenplay.
Sasha Stallone at the Premiere of "Rocky V" in Hollywood | Source: Getty Images
RELATIONSHIP WITH SYLVESTER STALLONE: FROM FIRST MEETING TO DIVORCE
Czack and Stallone's first meeting is not publicly known, but we do know that during the 1970s, Czack spent a lot of time with Warhol while Stallone was regularly spotted at Studio 54 in New York. Whatever caused them to cross paths, it was apparent they connected because they had a massive wedding in 1974.
They had two sons, Sage and Seargeoh. Seargeoh was diagnosed with autism at an early age after he had trouble communicating.
Sylvester Stallone and Sasha Czack at "Rhinestone" New York City Premiere in New York City | Source: Getty Images
Sadly, the marriage ended in divorce, and the former couple went their separate ways after ten years together. Paul Block, Stallone's spokesman, stated at the time:
"Sasha and I are both grateful for the 10 years we have had together and we intend to remain good friends dedicated to our sons ... even though we will no longer be husband and wife."
Czack filed for custody of the children and was willing to grant her ex-husband visitation rights. At the time of the filing, they were living with her at the family home.
Sylvester Stallone and Sasha Czack on Rodeo Drive on April 12, 1978, in Beverly Hills | Source: Getty Images
A DIFFICULT MOTHERHOOD
Czack'a motherhood journey has not been easy. When her son Seargeoh was diagnosed with autism, she was advised to have him institutionalized. She refused to do so, choosing instead to look after and raise him herself. She said:
“I knew that Sly [Sylvester Stallone] couldn’t get as involved because of his work. We do what we have to do. So I just said, ‘Give me the money, and I’ll take care of it.’"
Sage Stallone at "Rocky Balboa" World Premiere in Hollywood | Source: Getty Images
Sadly, he passed away from a heart attack caused by atherosclerosis at the age of 36. Many were under the impression that he had died from an overdose.
Sage Stallone and Sasha Czack at the California Fashion Industry Friends of AIDS Project on February 13, 1991 in California | Source: Getty Images
While responding to the rumors, Stallone asked people to respect the memory of his son and understand the pain he and his ex-wife were going through as parents who had just lost a child. In his own words, he said:
"Sage was our first child and the center of our universe and I am humbly begging for all to have my son's memory and soul left in peace."
Before his untimely death, Sage followed in his parents' footsteps and made strides in the entertainment industry. He had acted in many movies, like alongside his dad in "Rocky V." There were rumors that Stallone had an estranged relationship with his late son, but his representatives denied this claim.
Sasha Czack and Priscilla Presley at the Seventh Annual Carousel Ball to Benefit the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes on October 13, 1984 in Colorado | Source: Getty Images
SASHA CZACK'S LIFE AFTER SYLVESTER STALLONE
Two years after her split from Stallone, Czack walked down the aisle a second time and tied the knot with sound engineer Rick Ash. According to IMDb, he has 245 credits and won 3 Primetime Emmys along with 19 nominations. The two eventually divorced.
Careerwise, Czack wrote and directed "Long Lost Love," which came out in the mid-1990s and appeared in her late son's movie, "Vic," released in 2006. One of the last paparazzi pictures taken of her was at her son's funeral in 2012.
Sasha Czack attends a memorial service for her son Sage Stallone on July 21, 2012 | Source: Getty Images
Czack now leads a quiet life away from the spotlight. Since her divorce from Stallone, she devoted her life to caring for her children. According to the little information that is available, she did not marry again after her divorce from Ash.
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