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Sage Stallone death tied to heart problems; smoking cited

August 31, 2012 |  4:59 am

 Sage Stallone, left, at the 1996 premiere of "Daylight" with Amy Brenneman and his father, Sylvester Stallone.

The L.A. County coroner's office concluded that Sage Stallone, the son of Sylvester Stallone, died of natural causes, citing coronary artery disease.

Coroner's Chief Craig Harvey said Sage Stallone had a history of heavy smoking, but his family said he had cut back lately. He was most recently smoking an electric cigarette.

Among the chief causes of coronary artery disease is smoking because it can cause elevate blood pressure, raising the risk of clots.

The coroner declared death by natural causes and the toxicology test came back "negative except for a sub-therapeutic level of hydrocodone." Harvey said the drug played no role in the death.

The Los Angeles Police Department's North Hollywood Division went to Sage Stallone's home, where he was found dead in July, but the case was reassigned to the elite Robbery-Homicide Division. That division often handles high-profile cases or that demand resources unavailable to divisional detectives.

A housekeeper found Stallone's body. According to several sources, pills were found at the residence.

Born May 5, 1976, in Los Angeles, Sage Moonblood Stallone was the first son of Stallone and actress Sasha Czack. He began his acting career in "Rocky V," the 1990 installment of the "Rocky" movie franchise. As a 14-year-old, he played Rocky Balboa Jr., son of his father's Rocky Balboa character.

Young Stallone again appeared with his father in "Daylight" in 1996 and had roles in nine other movies and short films. His most recent appearance was in a 2011 television documentary on the "Rocky" films.

In addition to acting, Sage Stallone was a co-founder with film editor Bob Murawski of Grindhouse Releasing, which specializes in the theatrical and video releases of restored B movies from the 1970s and '80s.

The company's catalog includes "An American Hippie in Israel," "I Drink Your Blood" and "Cannibal Holocaust." Its latest release was 2010's "Gone With the Pope."


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-- Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Sage Stallone, left, at the 1996 premiere of "Daylight" with Amy Brenneman and his father, Sylvester Stallone. Credit: Fred Prouser / Reuters