Rocky and Predator Star Carl Weathers Passes Away at 76

Carl Weathers, renowned for his roles in iconic films such as Rocky and Predator, has passed away at the age of 76.

His family announced his passing through a statement from his agent, revealing he died “peacefully in his sleep” on February 1.

The statement reads, “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”.

Weathers gained fame for his portrayal of Apollo Creed in the Rocky series alongside Sylvester Stallone, and was also featured in the Creed movies starring Michael B. Jordan.

Before embarking on his acting career, Weathers was a prominent college football player in the 1960s and later transitioned from professional sports to acting in the early ’70s, initially appearing in blaxploitation films such as Bucktown and Friday Foster.

Reflecting on his acting journey in 2023, Weathers shared how the immediate feedback from live audiences was incredibly compelling, stating, “Once that bug gets inside you, it’s kind of hard to give it up”.

His major breakthrough came with the role in the 1976 movie Rocky, a part he secured in a unique manner by critiquing Stallone’s acting during his audition, proving that sometimes unexpected approaches lead to success.

In 2020, Weathers discussed the physical demands of playing a boxer, mentioning the challenges of filming realistic fight scenes and the mutual concern for safety between him and Stallone.

Following Rocky, Weathers appeared in subsequent sequels, starred opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator, and took the lead in Action Jackson.

Sylvester Stallone expressed deep sorrow over Weathers’ death, acknowledging him as a pivotal figure in his life and career, and praising his brilliance and essential role in the success of Rocky.

Arnold Schwarzenegger also paid tribute, celebrating Weathers as a legend, an exceptional athlete, and a gifted actor whose presence was vital to the success and enjoyment of making Predator, remembering him as a joyous and motivating friend.

Weathers’ career included roles in Happy Gilmore, as an acting coach in Arrested Development, and the voice of Combat Carl in Toy Story 4, earning acclaim for his versatility and charisma.

In his later years, Weathers achieved notable success with his role as Greef Karga in The Mandalorian, earning an Emmy nomination and directing two episodes, cementing his legacy as a versatile and talented artist.