By William Kenny Feb. 6, 2014
Nobody can accuse Jimmy Binns of failing to answer the bell.
Or, to borrow a line from his favorite fictitious Philadelphia fighter, Binns has never been mistaken for “just another bum from the neighborhood.”
The veteran litigator, former state boxing commissioner, sometime actor and recent suburban police academy graduate rarely has missed an opportunity to intensify his community engagement or amplify his celebrity since his days as a Pop Warner football star for the Mayfair Rams in the early 1950s.
Perhaps best known nowadays for his frequent public appearances advocating for the families of slain police officers and firefighters, Binns, 74, boasts an eclectic curriculum vitae that includes cameo appearances in two Rocky sequels. Neither role was a stretch. Filmmakers asked Binns to portray himself both times.
“I met Sylvester Stallone when I was a boxing commissioner,” Binns said during a recent interview. “I first met him at Bookbinder’s, and I used to see him out in Las Vegas at fights. He was making a new movie and asked me to act in it.”
Binns played an attorney in Rocky V in 1990 and a boxing commissioner in Rocky Balboa 16 years later.
“I had nice speaking parts in each,” he said.
Much like Stallone’s title character, Binns is walking proof of the heights to be achieved for an individual with charisma, knowledge and ambition, regardless of the neighborhood from which he comes….