Tony Burton played Tony ‘Duke’ Evers – an old school, no-nonsense trainer who in the first two films supported Apollo Creed, Balboa’s opponent.
Tony was also a successful boxer outside of the film world. Having won Golden Gloves light heavyweight titles in 1955 and 1957. He had a short period of professional
After his boxing career diminished, Burton found opportunities diminishing. Leading him to subsequently turn to a life of crime. This resulted in Burton going to prison. Despite that low period in his life, he was able to turn his life around and go on to be a successful actor. It was actually during his time in prison that gave him the confidence to pursue an acting career. Along with, providing him with the training to become a repairman, this later enabled him to meet his future wife, whilst repairing her home. Burton had this to say on how prison changed his life:
‘Prison for me was productive because I got my high school diploma and a degree from the University of California. But most important, I got myself together and found out who I was and how I could proceed without destroying myself.’
Alongside starring in the Rocky franchise, Burton also appeared in notable films like Attack on Precinct 13 and The Shining.
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