Carl Weathers, ‘Rocky’ Apollo Creed and ‘Mandalorian’ actor, dies at 76

Carl Weathers, the actor who played Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” franchise and appeared in “The Mandalorian”, has died at the age of 76.

His family confirmed that he passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, February 1, 2024.

Weathers was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1948. He was a professional football player before he pursued a career in acting. He made his film debut in 1975 in “Friday Foster”, and rose to fame in 1976 as the charismatic heavyweight champion Apollo Creed in “Rocky”, opposite Sylvester Stallone. He reprised his role in three sequels, and became one of the most iconic characters in the series.

Weathers also starred in other films such as “Predator”, “Action Jackson”, “Happy Gilmore”, and “Little Nicky”. He also had roles in TV shows such as “Arrested Development”, “Chicago Justice”, and “The Mandalorian”, where he played Greef Karga, the leader of a bounty hunter guild.

Weathers was a respected and versatile actor, who could play both dramatic and comedic roles. He was also a talented athlete, musician, and director. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in “Rocky”, and won a Saturn Award for his role in “The Mandalorian”.

Weathers is survived by his two sons, Jason and Matthew, and his partner, Jennifer Peterson. His family said in a statement that he was “an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life. 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.”

Many of his friends and colleagues paid tribute to him on social media, including Stallone, who posted an emotional video on Instagram, saying that he “never could have accomplished what we did with ‘Rocky’ without him.” He added, “He was absolutely brilliant – his voice, his size, his presence, his athletic ability, but, most importantly, his heart, his soul. It’s a horrible loss. He was magic. I was so fortunate to be part of his life. Apollo, keep punching.”

Michael B. Jordan, who played Apollo’s son Adonis in the “Creed” spin-off films, also honored Weathers, writing on his Instagram story, “We lost a Legend.” He thanked Weathers for giving him his “seal of approval” after seeing the first “Creed” film in 2015.

Dolph Lundgren, who played Ivan Drago, the boxer who killed Apollo in “Rocky IV”, also expressed his sadness, saying that Weathers was “a great actor, a terrific athlete and a good friend. I cherish many special memories of Carl, both professionally and personally. Like Apollo Creed, he had that special charm that always brought a smile to your face.”

Weathers will be remembered as a legend of cinema and a pioneer of Black representation in Hollywood.

Related Articles

Back to top button