Carl Weathers, Apollo Creed in Rocky, Dies at 76
Carl Weathers, Known for His Iconic Role as Apollo Creed, Passes Away
Carl Weathers, the actor renowned for his iconic portrayal of Apollo Creed in the Rocky movies, has sadly Passed Away at the age of 76. His manager, Matt Luber, confirmed the news, stating, “We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers. He died peacefully in his sleep.”
While Weathers had notable roles in various films and television series, including the Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian and the 1987 science fiction horror movie Predator, he gained widespread recognition as the charismatic boxer Apollo Creed opposite Sylvester Stallone‘s Rocky Balboa in the popular Rocky franchise.
Apollo Creed: A Groundbreaking Character
The character of Apollo Creed, modeled after Muhammad Ali, showcased intelligence and charisma, providing audiences with a positive portrayal of a Black Character during a time when mainstream cinema was challenging stereotypes.
Weathers, who briefly played for the Oakland Raiders in the National Football League before transitioning to acting in 1974, became a Hollywood mainstay. He secured the role of Apollo Creed after boxer Ken Norton, originally cast for the role, withdrew just before production.
Reflecting on the iconic character, Weathers mentioned in a 2016 interview that he “stole a lot” from Muhammad Ali in crafting the role. He acknowledged the significance of the character in shaping his career, stating, “It puts you on the map and makes your career, so to speak. But that’s a one-off, so you’ve got to follow it up with something. Fortunately, those movies kept coming.”
Weathers’ Notable Collaborations
Weathers also collaborated with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1987 hit Predator and experienced a career resurgence with his role in The Mandalorian from 2019 to 2023. Survived by two children, Jason and Matthew, Carl Weathers is remembered as a “beloved brother, father, grandfather, partner, and friend.”
Tribute from Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Weathers’ co-star in Predator, paid a heartfelt tribute to his late colleague. Taking to Instagram, Schwarzenegger shared a string of throwback pictures, captioning them, “Carl Weathers will always be a legend. 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. Every minute with him – on set and off – was pure joy. He was the type of friend who pushes you to be your best just to keep up with him. I’ll miss him, and my thoughts are with his family.”
Remembering Carl Weathers’ Legacy
Carl Weathers will be fondly remembered for his contributions to the film industry, particularly his iconic role as Apollo Creed in the Rocky franchise. His talent, charisma, and dedication to his craft left an indelible mark on audiences worldwide, and his legacy will continue to inspire future generations of actors and filmmakers.