Rocky Star Carl Weathers Has Died

Carl Weathers Dead: The Rocky and Predator star has tragically died aged 76.
Credit: Alamy & Chartoff-Winkler Productions

Carl Weathers has tragically died aged 76.

He was best known for his role as Apollo Creed in the Rocky franchise but also had notable roles in films such as Predator, Happy Gilmore and Action Jackson.

Most recently, Weathers had a supporting part in the Star Wars series The Mandalorian – which earned him an Emmy nomination.

Prior to his acclaimed acting career, he played American football professionally for the Oakland Raiders.

Tragically, it has been announced that Weathers has passed away.

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In a statement shared by his family, they said: “We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers.

“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 recognised worldwide and across generations. He was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, partner, and friend.”

His cause of death is yet to be confirmed.

Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed
Carl Weathers, who was best known for playing Apollo Creed, has tragically passed away aged 76. Credit: Chartoff-Winkler Productions

People have taken to social media to pay tribute to Weathers.

Adam Sandler, who starred opposite Weathers in Happy Gilmore, has said: “A true great man. 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.”

Professional boxer Tony Bellew, who starred in the Rocky spinoff films Creed and Creed III, pens: “RIP Carl Weathers!!”

Someone else adds: “Rest in peace, Carl Weathers. Apollo Creed was one of the best and coolest characters I’ve ever seen! it doesn’t get much better than the end of the Rocky III training montage.”

“From the NFL to Hollywood like no other… RIP,” another fan comments.

A fifth person writes: “Tragic loss. Thank you for entertaining us on the screen for so many years. RIP.”

The Toy Story 4 actor grew up in New Orleans and starred in plays throughout his childhood, but opted for a career path in American football.

Despite going undrafted in the 1970 draft, he signed with the Oakland Raiders.

However, he retired in 1974 to pursue his passion for acting.

Weathers had minor roles in numerous films and TV shows before landing his breakout role as Apollo Creed, the villain of the first Rocky film opposite Sylvester Stallone.

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The popularity of the character saw him return in Rocky II, Rocky III and Rocky IV – where he went from being the main antagonist to becoming Rocky’s trainer and one of his closest friends.

Speaking to the Daily Beast in 2016, Weathers credited the role to ‘putting him on the map’.

He said: “With any role that’s so iconic, defining, grand – it was so many things, you know? But yeah, it puts you on the map and makes your career, so to speak.

“But that’s a one-off, so you’ve got to follow it up with something. Fortunately, those movies kept coming, and Apollo Creed became more and more in people’s consciousness and welcome in their lives, and it was just the right guy at the right time.”

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a content editor at IGV who specialises in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.