Carl Weathers, the actor famous for playing Apollo Creed in the ‘Rocky’ films, has died aged 76.

In a statement announcing the news, his family said: “We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers.

“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 recognised worldwide and across generations. He was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, partner, and friend.”

Actor Carl Weathers in 2017

Former NFL linebacker Weather became a well-know and beloved actor of actions and comedy films, appearing in classics including Predator opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, Happy Gilmour, and The Mandalorian.

Born in 1948 in New Orleans, Weathers appeared in more than 75 films and TV shows during his 50-year screen career.

He most recently appeared in nine episodes of the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian over its three seasons, playing bounty hunter Greef Karga.

Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed and Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa in Rocky 1976 hit film 'Rocky' United Artists
Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed and Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa in Rocky 1976 hit film ‘Rocky’

He also voiced Combat Carl in the Oscar-winning Toy Story 4, but is best known for playing Apollo Creed, the heavyweight champion who gave Sylvester Stallone’s Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa a shot at the title in 1976’s Rocky.

Weathers reprised the role in Rocky II, Rocky III and Rocky IV, where his character was dramatically killed off  by Russian heavyweight Ivan Drago, played Dolph Lundgren.

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