Adrianna “Adrian” Pennino was born on March 10, 1950, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was raised by her older brother, Paulie Pennino, who often abused her, because of alcoholism.
Working at the Pet Shop/Courting of Rocky Balboa
Adrian, worked at neighborhood pet store in South Philadelphia, which Rocky, who lived nearby, would visit from time to time to buy food and pet supplies for his turtles. When Rocky told Paulie that he intended to go out on a date with the shy, bookish, and bespectacled Adrian, the overprotective Paulie in turn yelled at Adrian, who had been on very few dates beforehand, and had fearful apprehensions, to go out on the date with Rocky. When Adrian finally accepted Rocky's invitation, Rocky took her to the ice rink. When Rocky took Adrian to his house and kissed her for the first time, the two became a couple. When Rocky started training for the match against Apollo Creed, Adrian gave Butkus to accompany him while he was training. When the fight came along, Adrian watches, and when the fight finishes, Rocky calls out to her, and the two declare there love.
In Rocky II, Rocky proposed marriage to Adrian in the Philadelphia zoo. Shortly after their marriage, Rocky started to lavish gifts upon his bride from the money he made from the fight with Apollo Creed. Rocky bought a new house and a few weeks later Rocky found out that Adrian was pregnant; Due to money issues, Adrian suggested that she should work in the pet store part time while Rocky was training in the gym. When Paulie visited Adrian at the hospital upon her giving birth to Rocky, Jr., at the hospital Rocky and Paulie would find out from the doctors that there were complications. Adrian had slipped into a coma and the baby was born one month premature but perfectly healthy. Rocky stood by Adrian's bed until she woke up from the coma. Adrian then told Rocky to "Win!" the rematch of the fight against Apollo. Adrian was watching the fight on the television and saw Rocky prevail against Apollo.
Adrian had became a source of stability for Rocky during their marriage. Despite her unhappiness with Rocky's boxing career, she convinced him to find the strength to continue his training for his rematch against Clubber Lang. When Rocky wanted to fight Ivan Drago, Adrian didn't support his decision at first, but decided to visit him in Russia, saying that she would be with him no matter what.
After the fight with Drago, Rocky was diagnosed with irreversible brain damage, and the Balboa fortune was stolen by their lawyer (due to Paulie's inadvertently signing a Power of Attorney). Adrian told Rocky that she would stand by him, money or not. When Rocky had committed himself to training Tommy Gunn at the expense of Rocky Jr., Adrian reminded Rocky of his priorities, the elder Rocky would cease his near-neglect of his son and the Balboa's bond was repaired.
In autumn of 2001, Adrian learned that she was dying from ovarian cancer. And after a few months, Adrian Balboa passed peacefully away on January 11, 2002 in her sleep, due to her diagnosis with cancer. After her death, her widow, Rocky opens an Italian restaurant named after her called Adrian's. After her brother, Paulie passed away in 2012, he was buried next to her, and Rocky visits the graves every year.