Actor Carl Weathers, known for his roles in Rocky and Predator, passes away at the age of 76.

Actor Carl Weathers, known for his roles in Rocky and Predator, passes away at the age of 76.

The actor known for his roles in Rocky and Predator, Carl Weathers, passed away at the age of 76.

On February 1, his family publicly announced through his agent that he passed away in his sleep.

The statement expressed that Carl was an extraordinary individual who led an exceptional life. His contributions to the fields of film, television, arts, and sports have left a lasting impression and he is well-known globally and across different generations. He was cherished as a brother, father, grandfather, partner, and friend.

Carl Weathers gained recognition for his portrayal of Apollo Creed in the initial four Rocky movies, where he starred alongside Sylvester Stallone. His footage was later incorporated in the Creed movies, featuring Michael B Jordan.

Following a successful college football career in the 1960s, Weathers transitioned to acting after retiring from professional sports in the early 1970s. He started with minor roles in blaxploitation films such as Bucktown and Friday Foster.

In 2023, Weathers exclaimed, “I caught the bug, as the saying goes.” He enjoyed being on stage and hearing the audience laugh and cheer at the end. It’s quite contagious. Once you’re bitten by the bug, it’s difficult to let go of it.

In 1976, he gained recognition for his performance in Rocky, a role that was originally meant for professional boxer Ken Norton. He reportedly landed the role by criticizing Stallone’s acting during his audition. In 2015, he stated, “Sometimes it’s the mistakes that lead to success.”

In 2020, he discussed his experience playing a boxer and shared, “It was difficult to avoid getting hit while filming. There were instances where we purposely engaged in physical contact. I was always worried that if I accidentally hit Sly, it could cause harm. However, there was no need for that and I believe he felt the same way.”

Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers in Rocky.

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Afterwards, Weathers appeared in the following three Rocky films and starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987’s Predator and had the main role in 1988’s Action Jackson.

Sylvester Stallone expressed that Carl Weathers was a crucial component in his life. On his Instagram, Stallone stated that he was deeply affected by the news. He shared, “Carl Weathers played such a vital role in my life and success…I owe him tremendous credit.” Stallone also reflected on their first meeting, where he saw potential in Weathers that surpassed his initial expectations. He acknowledged that their collaboration on the film Rocky would not have been possible without Weathers’ brilliance. He concluded with a tribute to Weathers’ legacy and fighting spirit.

Schwarzenegger expressed his admiration for Carl Weathers in a statement, calling him a legend. He praised his athletic abilities, acting skills, and character, stating that the movie Predator would not have been possible without him. Schwarzenegger also reminisced about the enjoyable moments they shared both on and off set, and described Weathers as a friend who motivated him to always strive for excellence. He expressed his sadness at Weathers’ passing and sent his condolences to his loved ones.

Weathers acted with Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore and went on to appear in Arrested Development as an acting coach and the voice of Combat Carl in Toy Story 4.

“A true great man,” Sandler wrote on X. “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.”

He recently played the role of Greef Karga in The Mandalorian and received an Emmy nomination for outstanding guest actor in a drama series. He also served as director for two episodes.

In 2021, he expressed his enjoyment of being on the show and how it allowed him to fully express his creativity in a way he had not been able to do in previous projects. He also shared that it has been a wonderful experience and the timing could not have been more perfect.

The statement from the creator of the show, Jon Favreau, expressed his sadness over the loss of a childhood hero whom he was fortunate to meet and work with. He described the individual as having the vitality and inquisitiveness of a young person, combined with the wisdom gained from a fulfilling life and career. The creator extends his sympathies to the family and numerous fans of the individual.

Robert Rodriguez, the director of the show that included Weathers, honored his memory. He expressed, “I will deeply miss the amazing Carl Weathers, whom I had the privilege of working with multiple times.” Rodriguez also added, “He was a kind and giving individual. His performances were consistently dynamic and he was also an exceptional director for both theater and film.”

He has two sons who are still living.