Carl Weathers, who played Apollo Creed in the first four Rocky films, died “peacefully in his sleep” at the age of 76, according to a family statement. The actor, best known for his roles in iconic films and television shows, leaves a legacy that admirers around the world will love forever.
Carl Weathers gained to prominence with his famous portrayal as Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” film series, in which he played the flamboyant and intimidating boxing champion. His on-screen charisma and unquestionable talent attracted audiences, cementing his status as a Hollywood classic.
Aside from his acting abilities, Carl Weathers shattered barriers in the profession and inspired many aspiring actors, particularly those from marginalised backgrounds. His commitment to his craft and ability to offer depth to every character he played distinguished him as a true innovator in Hollywood.
Carl Weathers, who began his career as an NFL linebacker, “was an exceptional person who lived an extraordinary life”.
“Through his contributions to film, television, the arts and sports, he has left an indelible mark and is recognised worldwide and across generations,” the family said in a statement.
“He was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, partner, and friend.”
The athlete-turned-actor was at ease in both action and comic roles, appearing in everything from Arrested Development to The Mandalorian, where he appeared in all three seasons of the Disney+ popular show.
Arnold Schwarzenegger remembers late ‘Predator’ co-star, Carl Weathers, as a “legend” in his own right and “a great person.”https://t.co/I4pRjluWyC
— Entertainment Tonight (@etnow) February 3, 2024
His former co-star, former California governor and superhero action star Arnold Schwarzenegger, hailed Weathers on X (previously Twitter): “Carl Weathers will always be an icon. An amazing athlete, a fantastic performer, and a kind person.
“We could not have created Predator without him. And we wouldn’t have had such a great time doing it.”
Weathers was born in New Orleans in 1948 and began his football career at San Diego State University, where he studied theatrical acting before joining the Oakland Raiders in 1970.
According to Deadline, he appeared in over 75 films and television shows during the course of his 50-year Hollywood career.
His performance in The Mandalorian earned him an Emmy nomination in 2021. He directed two episodes of the Star Wars franchise, as well as Law & Order and Chicago Med.
He was also responsible for Action Jackson, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Eight Crazy Nights, Little Nicky, and the Toy Story franchise.