Portrayed Apollo Creed in ‘Rocky’ films
Actor Carl Weathers, who portrayed Sylvester Stallone's boxing nemesis-turned-friend and mentor Apollo Creed in four “Rocky'' films, has died at age 76, his family announced today.
In a statement to Deadline, the family said Weathers “died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday.''
“Carl was an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life,'' his family said. “Through his contributions to film, television, the arts and sports, he has left an indelible mark and is recognized worldwide and across generations. He was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, partner, and friend.''
No other details were immediately released.
A native of New Orleans, Weathers played college football at San Diego State University and played briefly for the Oakland Raiders and then for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League before retiring and pursuing an acting career.
He made appearances in a series of television programs, including “Kung Fu'' and “Starsky and Hutch.'' Weathers was also a co-star in the TV police drama “In The Heat of the Night.” He rose to fame when he landed the role of boxing champion Apollo Creed, who gives Stallone's Rocky Balboa a shot at the title in the 1976 film “Rocky.'' He reprised the role in three sequels, before his character died in the ring in “Rocky IV.''
His other notable roles included a spot opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in ``Predator, and in films including “Action Jackson'' and “Happy Gilmore.'' He more recently appeared in the popular Disney+ streaming series “The Mandalorian,'' which earned him an Emmy nomination for outstanding guest actor.
“A true great man,'' Weathers' “Happy Gilmore'' co-star Adam Sandler wrote on Instagram. “Great dad. Great actor. Great athlete. So much fun to be around always. Smart as hell. Loyal as hell. Funny as hell. Loved his sons more than anything. What a guy!! Everyone loved him. My wife and I had the best times with him every time we saw him. Love to his entire family and Carl will always be known as a true legend.''
Actor/comedian Jon Lovitz wrote on X, “God bless Carl Weathers. A wonderful actor and athlete. I got to know him years ago. He hosted ‘SNL' and was so great to work with. So great in ‘Rocky.' And such a nice guy. Another good guy, gone. This is very sad news. God bless him and his family.''