Sylvester Stallone visits former Holme Circle house

Hollywood icon Sylvester Stallone, in town filming the newest installment to the Rocky franchise, paid a visit to his childhood home in Holme Circle.

Capt. Adam Friedman, the recently appointed commander of the 8th Police District, was the official guest speaker for the Holme Circle Civic Association meeting last Wednesday, but Rocky Balboa stole the show.

No, the movie pugilist did not make a surprise appearance in the St. Jerome’s School cafeteria, where neighbors meet each month. But his creator and portrayer, Sylvester Stallone, did show up in the neighborhood on Jan. 27 to pay a visit to his former home. Members of the Burke family, who live there now, recounted their brush with stardom during the civic meeting.

Stallone arrived unannounced at Pat and John Burke’s place on the 2700 block of Mower St. around dinnertime. The Hollywood icon has been in Philadelphia recently while filming Creed, yet another sequel in the Rocky franchise. While in town, he’s also been seen outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where he posed with tourists for selfies on the “Rocky steps,” and at Primo Hoagies in Port Richmond, where he reportedly ordered a couple of Italians along with a ham-and-cheese.

At the Burke house, Stallone posed for snapshots with Pat and her adult daughter Katie. John and son Martin were not home. The Burkes raised seven children in the home.

“He was very gracious and very nice,” Pat Burke said of the bronzed and buff Stallone, who turned 68 last July.

Pat Burke told the Northeast Times that she and her husband bought the twin home from Stallone’s mother, Jacqueline, and stepfather in 1971. At the time, Sly was well beyond his years as an Abraham Lincoln High School student and just embarking on a professional career that would see him earn Academy Award nominations for best screenplay and best actor for the original Rocky.

The Stallones left few personal effects in the home, although the Burkes still have Sylvester’s old speed bag mount — that’s a boxing device. Pat Burke said she was too starstruck to ask Stallone to autograph the item. Friends later told the homeowner that such a piece of memorabilia could draw a healthy price on the collectibles market.

While it was the actor’s first visit to the home since the Burkes moved there in ’71, Sly’s brother Frank, who is four years younger, has been there a few times over the years, Pat Burke said. Frank is a Grammy-nominated singer and musician, but nevertheless is probably best known as Sylvester’s brother.

There is no word on how much longer the elder Stallone will stay in Philadelphia or how many more spontaneous appearances he plans to make.

During Friedman’s segment of last week’s meeting, the 8th district captain reminded residents that crime fighting is a partnership between police and the public. If a citizen witnesses a possible crime or suspicious activity, they should call 911 to report it.

Folks should not be deterred by the thought that the situation is insignificant or that officers have better things to do. On the contrary, police rely on 911 reports to identify crime patterns and determine where to focus their resources.

Citizens can also connect with the district through social media. The 8th Police District Advisory Council has an active Facebook page, while the district will be setting up a Twitter account, Friedman said. The district also hosts several public meetings each month where residents can meet district supervisors face-to-face. Meeting dates, crime bulletins and crime prevention tips are posted on the 8th district page at PhillyPolice.com.

In other business:

• The HCCA presented Elsie Stevens with a plaque of appreciation for her service as the group’s president. Stevens chose not to run for another term during the group’s recent election, although she still sits on the group’s executive board.

• Paul Regan, aide to City Councilman Bobby Henon, invited seniors to attend Henon’s Senior Movie Day on March 20 at Cannstatter’s, 9130 Academy Road. Maleficent will be shown. The free event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes lunch. ••