Carl Weathers ‘Rocky’ Star Dies at 76

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Carl Weathers, a renowned actor best known for his role as Apollo Creed in the initial four installments of the Rocky series. His remarkable talent also shone in other notable works such as Predator, The Mandalorian, Happy Gilmore, and Action Jackson, among many others. He left us on Tuesday, at the age of 76.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers,”the statement was released by his family “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, born on January 14, 1948, in New Orleans, had a prolific career in film and television spanning half a century, with over 75 appearances to his name. His notable roles include Greef Karga in the Star Wars series ‘The Mandalorian’ on Disney+, a character that formed a close bond with Pedro Pascal’s Mando over the course of three seasons. Weathers’ performance earned him an Emmy nomination in 2021, and he also directed two episodes in the second and third seasons.

Recently, Lucasfilm announced the development of a feature film titled ‘The Mandalorian & Grogu’, with Jon Favreau, the series creator, set to direct. The cast for the upcoming film, which is due to start production this year, has not been confirmed yet.

Weathers also lent his voice to the character Combat Carl in the award-winning ‘Toy Story 4’ in 2019, after first introducing the character in the 2013 TV special ‘Toy Story of Terror’.

His filmography includes a starring role in ‘Action Jackson’ in 1988, following his performance alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987’s ‘Predator’.

However, Weathers is perhaps most recognized for his portrayal of Apollo Creed, the world heavyweight champion who challenges Rocky Balboa (played by Sylvester Stallone) in the 1976 film ‘Rocky’. He reprised this role in several sequels, culminating in ‘Rocky IV’ in 1985, where his character tragically dies during a match against Russian heavyweight Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren).

In ‘Happy Gilmore’, Weathers played Derick “Chubbs” Peterson, a former professional golfer turned coach for the title character, portrayed by Adam Sandler. Peterson’s character, who had lost his hand to an alligator and used a wooden prosthetic, provided many comedic moments in the film.

While filming a stunt for Happy Gilmore, Weathers suffered a severe injury that resulted in years of intense 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,” As he shared in a 2020 interview with GQ, he endured “There were three or four years there where I was just in excruciating pain.”

Weathers, a proud alumnus of San Diego State University, where he delivered the commencement address in 1987, embarked on his acting career in the early 1970s. He made guest appearances in popular TV series of the time such as Good Times, Kung Fu, S.W.A.T., The Six Million Dollar Man, and Cannon. As his career progressed, he featured in episodes of other hit shows like Starsky and Hutch, Barnaby Jones, Switch, and The Streets of San Francisco.

Weathers’ career skyrocketed in the year of America’s bicentennial.

At that time, Stallone was an emerging actor and screenwriter. United Artists released his film, Rocky, an underdog boxing drama that would soon become a cultural phenomenon. Weathers was cast as Creed, the charismatic and confident heavyweight champion who saw an opportunity for profit and publicity in giving a local contender a shot at the title. That contender was Rocky Balboa, who earned his spot partly due to his catchy nickname, “The Italian Stallion.” Balboa, a left-handed journeyman and part-time enforcer for a loan shark, took his training seriously, even going so far as to pound sides of beef.

Creed, on the other hand, was more focused on promoting the fight than preparing for it. When the two finally stepped into the ring, surrounded by a patriotic display of red, white, and blue — with Creed making his entrance dressed as Uncle Sam — it turned into a legendary match, with both fighters giving it their all. After a brutal bout that left both men with bloody faces and broken ribs, the final bell rang. In a memorable exchange, Creed declared, “Ain’t gonna be no rematch,” to which Balboa responded, “Don’t want one.”

Despite this, the fight was a tremendous success, and a second match between Creed and Balboa was arranged.

About Post Author

Kimberlee Speakman

Kimberlee Speakman is a reporter and digital news writer with over 5 years of experience covering everything from the latest entertainment news to human interest news and crime.
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