Carl Weathers known for his role in ‘Rocky’, dies at age of 76


Carl Weathers, famed for his role in ‘Rocky’ opposite Sylvester Stallone, has died at the age of 76.

Carl Weathers arrives at a special screening for the season three premiere of "The Mandalorian" on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, at The Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)(Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Carl Weathers arrives at a special screening for the season three premiere of “The Mandalorian” on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, at The Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)(Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

 

Carl Weathers, a former NFL linebacker who became as a Hollywood action and comedy star, playing nemesis-turned-ally Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” films, competing against Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Predator,” and teaching golf in “Happy Gilmore,” died. He was 76.

His manager, Matt Luber, confirmed that Weathers died on Thursday. His family released a statement claiming he died “peacefully in his sleep.”

Weathers was equally at ease flexing his muscles on the big screen in “Action Jackson” as he was joking around on the small screen in shows like “Arrested Development.” Weathers was perhaps most closely associated with Creed, who made his debut as the cocky, undisputed heavyweight world champion in 1976’s “Rocky,” starring Sylvester Stallone.

Weathers, who briefly played for the Oakland Raiders in the National Football League before turning to acting in 1974, became a Hollywood fixture. He took over the role of Apollo Creed from boxer Ken Norton.

Weathers admitted in a 2016 interview that he “stole a lot” from Muhammad Ali when creating the renowned character. He acknowledged the character’s role in establishing his career, saying, “It puts you on the map and makes your career, so to speak. However, since that is a one-time event, you must follow it up with something else. Fortunately, the films kept coming.”

Weathers most recently appeared in the Disney+ smash “The Mandalorian,” appearing in all three seasons.

Creed, who starred in the first four “Rocky” films, died in the ring in 1984’s “Rocky IV,” competing against the gigantic, steroid-using Soviet Ivan Drago, played by Dolph Lundgren. Before entering the ring, James Brown performed “Living in America” with showgirls, while Creed appeared on a balcony wearing a Star-Spangled Banner shorts and waistcoat combo and an Uncle Sam hat, dancing and taunting Drago.

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