Robert "Rocky" Balboa (also known by his ring name The Italian Stallion), is a fictional title character of the Rocky film series. The character was created by Sylvester Stallone, who has also portrayed him in all eight films in the franchise. He is depicted as a working class or poor Italian-American from the slums of Philadelphia who started out as a club fighter and “enforcer” for a local loan shark. He is portrayed as overcoming the obstacles that had occurred in his life and in his career as a professional boxer. While the story of his first film is loosely inspired by Chuck Wepner, a one-time boxer who fought Muhammad Ali and lost on a TKO in the 15th round, the inspiration for the name, iconography and fighting style came from boxing legend Rocco Francis "Rocky Marciano" Marchegiano, though his surname coincidentally also resembles that of Middleweight Boxing Champion Thomas Rocco "Rocky Graziano" Barbella.
The character is widely considered to be Stallone's most iconic role and is often considered the role that started his film career. He received critical acclaim for his performance in the first movie, earning Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations. When Stallone reprised his role once again in 2015 for Creed, his performance received universal acclaim and he received his first Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor, along with his third Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor and several other accolades.