Remembering Carl Weathers: 'Rocky's Apollo Creed and 'Mandalorian' Star Passes Away at 76

Iconic actor Carl Weathers, renowned for his roles in "Rocky" and "Mandalorian," has passed away at 76. A versatile talent, he leaves behind a lasting cinematic legacy.

Carl Weathers

It is with great sadness to inform that Carl Weathers has passed away at the age of 76. Best known for his role as Apollo Creed in the famous "Rocky" franchise, his manager, Matt Luber, confirmed the news. Born on January 14, 1948, in New Orleans, Weathers was not just an incredibly talented actor but also a versatile athlete, having participated in various sports like boxing, football, soccer, wrestling, and gymnastics. He started his journey in acting with small roles in blaxploitation films and TV series such as "Good Times," "Kung Fu," "Cannon," and "Starsky and Hutch."

The actor's big break came when he starred alongside Sylvester Stallone in the first four "Rocky" movies as Apollo Creed. Weathers' dedication to the role and his on-screen chemistry with Stallone contributed significantly to the success of the franchise. He also made an impact in the action genre with his role as Colonel Al Dillon in the 1987 film "Predator," alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. His diverse career also included a memorable stint in Adam Sandler's "Happy Gilmore," where he showcased his comedic talent.

Weathers expanded his presence into the world of animation, voicing Combat Carl in "Toy Story 4" and contributing to Sandler's animated Hanukkah comedy, "Eight Crazy Nights." He also played a fictionalized version of himself in the popular TV series "Arrested Development." His versatility was further highlighted as he received a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his role in the "Star Wars" series "The Mandalorian." His portrayal of Greef Karga showcased his ability to seamlessly transition between genres, proving his enduring relevance in the industry.

Despite his character Apollo Creed meeting a tragic end in "Rocky IV," Weathers and Stallone's professional relationship faced a momentary strain when Stallone sought permission to use earlier footage in the sixth installment of the "Rocky" franchise, "Rocky Balboa." Weathers, however, stood his ground, advocating for an actual role in the film. Although the initial request was denied, the two eventually reconciled, paving the way for Weathers' likeness to be used in the "Creed" sequel series.

In the latter part of his career, Weathers not only continued to act but also delved into directing, leaving his mark on episodes of various TV procedurals. His directorial contributions extended to the "Star Wars" universe, where he directed a few episodes in "The Mandalorian."

Carl Weathers' legacy is survived not just by his remarkable on-screen performances but also by the impact he made across genres and generations. His contributions to the world of entertainment will undoubtedly continue to resonate for years to come. Our thoughts go out to his ex-wife, Mary Ann, and their two sons during this difficult time.