IT may come as a surprise to many that beefy actor Sylvester Stallone is also a writer, director and painter. The multi-talented Stallone was born into an unhappy family. He spent his first five years in a foster home. He was also a problem youth, having been through 12 schools. He was eventually sent to a school for problem adolescents, graduated and entered the American College of Switzerland, where he discovered acting. Stallone rose to fame after starring in the 1976 Oscar-winning movie Rocky , which he wrote himself. The actor was the director of John Travolta's well-known movie Staying Alive. In the late '80s, Stallone was listed as one of the three most recognisable people in the world. In 1990, he sold 34 out of 40 of his oil paintings at an art show. Cliffhanger is the latest hit by Stallone. The star turns 47 on Tuesday.