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Carl Weathers, ‘Rocky’ and ‘Predator’ Star, Dies at 76

Carl Weathers, ‘Rocky’ and ‘Predator’ Star, Dies at 76

Carl Weathers, who is forever immortalized as Apollo Creed in the Rocky franchise, has died, according to his family. He was 76. Besides the four Rocky films, Weathers also had starring turns in movies and TV shows like Happy Gilmore, Action Jackson, The Mandalorian, and others.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers,” Weathers’ family said in a statement, according to Deadline. “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.”

Carl Weathers was born on January 14, 1948, in New Orleans. He appeared in more than 75 films and TV shows during his 50-year screen career. Weathers showed up in nine episodes of the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian over its three seasons. He played Greef Karga, the head of the Bounty Hunters Guild. Weathers was a 2021 Emmy nominee for that role. He also directed a pair of episodes in Seasons 2 and 3.

In January, Lucasfilm confirmed a Mandalorian feature film, The Mandalorian & Grogu, was in the works. Series creator Jon Favreau to direct.

Carl Weathers Voiced Combat Carl in ‘Toy Story 4’

Weathers also voiced Combat Carl in the Oscar-winning Toy Story 4 (2019) and after originating the character for the 2013 TV special Toy Story of Terror.

Among other credits were a 1988 star turn in Action Jackson. That came on the heels of him starring opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987’s Predator.

Weathers’ most iconic role was Apollo Creed. Creed was the heavyweight champion of the world who gave journeyman Philly boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) a shot at the title in 1976’s Rocky. 

He then reprised his Creed role in Rocky II (1979), which featured a title rematch with Balboa, and 1982’s Rocky III, where he brawled with Clubber Lang (Mr. T). Creed’s final film in the franchise was Rocky IV (1985), where he was killed by Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren).

Actor Appeared In ‘Happy Gilmore’

The popular actor played Derick “Chubbs” Peterson opposite Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore, playing the title character’s golf coach. Peterson was a pro golfer forced to leave the tour after losing his hand to an alligator. But his wooden replacement hand provided many gags.

Weathers was badly injured during the Happy Gilmore shoot. It led to years of pain. “I didn’t know it until years later, but I fractured two vertebrae and osteophytes grew out and connected, and it did a kind of self-fuse in a really bad place,” Weathers told GQ in a 2020 interview. “There were three or four years there where I was just in excruciating pain.”

Weathers graduated from San Diego State University. He started his career in the 1970s with guest shots in such hit TV series as Good Times, Kung Fu, S.W.A.T.The Six Million Dollar Man, and Cannon. Weathers also had appearances on Starsky and Hutch, Barnaby Jones, Switch, The Streets of San Francisco, and other popular shows.

Weathers’ survivors include his ex-wife, Mary Ann, and their two sons.