Carl Weathers, actor known for roles in 'Rocky' and 'Predator,' dies at age 76

Carl Weathers, star in 'Rocky' and 'Predator,' dead at 76
Posted at 12:19 PM, Feb 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-02 17:22:25-05

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Actor Carl Weathers, who portrayed Sylvester Stallone's boxing nemesis-turned-friend and mentor Apollo Creed in four "Rocky" films, has died at age 76, his family announced Friday.

In a statement to Deadline, the family said Weathers "died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday."

"Carl was an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life," his family said. "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."

No other details were immediately released.

A native of New Orleans, Weathers played college football at San Diego State University and played briefly for the Oakland Raiders and then for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League before retiring and pursuing an acting career.

He made appearances in a series of television programs, including "Kung Fu" and "Starsky and Hutch," but rose to fame when he landed the role of boxing champion Apollo Creed, who gives Stallone's Rocky Balboa a shot at the title in the 1976 film "Rocky." He reprised the role in three sequels, before his character died in the ring in "Rocky IV."

His other notable roles included a spot opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Predator, and in films including "Action Jackson" and "Happy Gilmore."

He more recently appeared in the popular Disney+ streaming series "The Mandalorian," which earned him an Emmy nomination for outstanding guest actor.

"A true great man," Weathers' "Happy Gilmore" co-star Adam Sandler wrote on Instagram. "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."

Schwarzenegger posted several photos of Weathers from "Predator," writing that he "will always be a legend."

"An extraordinary athlete, a fantastic actor and a great person," he wrote. "We couldn't have made `Predator' without him. And we certainly wouldn't have had such a wonderful time making it. Every minute with him -- on set and off -- was pure joy. He was the type of friend who pushes you to be your best just to keep up with him. I'll miss him, and my thoughts are with his family."

Actor/comedian Jon Lovitz wrote on X, "God bless Carl Weathers. A wonderful actor and athlete. I got to know him years ago. He hosted `SNL' and was so great to work with. So great in `Rocky.' And such a nice guy. Another good guy, gone. This is very sad news. God bless him and his family."

"The Mandalorian" star Pedro Pascal posted a photo of Weathers on his Instagram account, writing only, "Words fail," accompanied by a broken- heart emoji.

Jesse Ventura, a former pro wrestler and Minnesota governor who also appeared in "Predator," wrote, "We lost an icon. Carl Weathers was a phenomenal talent, a true professional, and a dear friend. All my sympathies and love to his family. I loved working with him on `Predator' and then celebrating that film with him at various conventions in the ensuing years."

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