Known best for his role as Apollo Creed in the Rocky films, actor Carl Weathers has died at the age of 76.
A former linebacker at San Diego State University, where he majored in theater, Weathers went on to play for the Oakland Raiders, in 1970. After his rookie season, he would play in the CFL for two years, finishing up his studies at San Francisco State University, he graduated with a B.A. in drama.
Weathers would work his way up on television, before breaking out on the big screen in the iconic role of Apollo Creed in the Academy Award winning "Rocky," co-starring with Sylvester Stallone. From the success of the role which he would reprise in the following sequels, Carl would become a Hollywood action star, starring alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Predator,” leading his own film "Action Jackson," and even showing his comedic side in “Happy Gilmore.”
Carl's manager, Matt Luber said Weathers died “peacefully in his sleep,” as his co-stars have begun to express their condolences.
“Carl Weathers will always be a legend,” Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote on Instagram. “An extraordinary athlete, a fantastic actor and a great person. We couldn’t have made ‘Predator’ without him. And we certainly wouldn’t have had such a wonderful time making it.”
“We lost an icon,” former “Predator” co-star Jesse Ventura wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Carl Weathers was a phenomenal talent, a true professional and a dear friend.”
Adam Sandler hailed his friend, calling him a “great man” and “a true legend” — “So much fun to be around always. Smart as hell. Loyal as hell. Funny as hell.”
Most recently, Weathers starred in the Disney+ hit “The Mandalorian,” appearing in all three seasons.
“There are so many people that came before me who I admired and whose success I wanted to emulate, and just kind of hit the benchmarks they hit in terms of success, who created a pathway that I’ve been able to walk and find success as a result. And hopefully I can inspire someone else to do good work as well,” Weathers told the Detroit News in 2023. “I guess I’m just a lucky guy.”