American actor Carl Weathers, who starred as Apollo Creed in the first four “Rocky” films opposite Sylvester Stallone, died Thursday, his manager Matt Luber confirmed. He was 76.
“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers,” his family said in a statement. “He died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, February 1st, 2024. … Carl 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.”
Weathers also starred in 1987’s “Predator” and had a memorable role in Adam Sandler’s “Happy Gilmore.” He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his work in the “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian.
Born on January 14, 1948, in New Orleans, Weathers appeared in more than 75 films and TV shows during his 50-year screen career.
Weathers showed off his comedy chops in a memorable arc on Arrested Development, playing a version of himself as an ad-hoc acting coach who proudly offered tips on saving money at everything from food buffets to airport rides. He appeared in four episodes across the Emmy-winning series’ first four seasons.
He also appeared as Police Chief Hampton Forbes in more than two dozen episodes of the 1989-95 TV series In the Heat of the Night starring Carroll O’Connor and Howard Rollins. Weathers was a series regular in the 1993-94 seventh and final season and appeared in the post-series telefilms.
But Weathers is best known for playing Apollo Creed, the heavyweight champion of the world who gave journeyman Philly boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) a shot at the title in 1976’s Rocky. Weathers reprised the role in Rocky II (1979), which featured a title rematch with Balboa, and 1982’s Rocky III, where he trained Balboa to fight the brutish Clubber Lang (Mr. T). Creed’s final film in the franchise was Rocky IV (1985), where he was killed in the ring by chiseled Russian heavyweight Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren).
Author: Seyi Awoleye