R.I.P. Carl Weathers, star of Rocky, The Mandalorian and Happy Gilmore

Carl Weathers
Carl Weathers
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Carl Weathers, best known for his role as Apollo Creed in the Rocky franchise, has died, according to Deadline. No cause of death has yet been reported. He was 76 years old.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers,” his family said in a statement. “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.”

Weathers began his Hollywood career in the 1970s and worked steadily in television (appearing on series such as Good Times, The Six Million Dollar Man, Starsky & Hutch, and more) before landing his breakout role in Rocky as the titular boxer’s rival, Apollo Creed. He would go on to appear in the next three films before his character was killed off in Rocky IV. He also had notable roles in Predator and Action Jackson, among others.

The actor, known primarily for his dramatic roles, was able to show off his comedic chops in Adam Sandler’s Happy Gilmore as former professional golfer Chubbs Peterson. (Weathers would go on to reprise the role in Sandler’s Little Nicky and play a part in Eight Crazy Nights.) He also made a memorable guest appearance on Arrested Development as a comically stingy version of himself, a character Weathers himself pitched to creator Mitch Hurwitz, he told The A.V. Club in 2014. Hurwitz “just took that and ran with it and made it as funny as anything could be. So it was a tremendous joy to try and get a stew going all the time,” Weathers laughed. “At someone else’s expense, of course!”

In recent years, Weathers dipped into voiceover work with roles in Mortal Kombat X, Toy Story 4, and Star Vs. The Forces Of Evil. In 2021, he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Greef Karga in the Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian on Disney+.

“Even though I played football in college—that was on scholarship to San Diego State—I was a theater major. I always wanted to be an actor even from when I was a young kid. I loved movies—grew up watching movies. So making the transition was, in a way, truly out of ignorance,” he recalled of starting his career in conversation with The A.V. Club. “I never really had a clue of the challenges of ‘making it in Hollywood,’ so to speak. I came here expecting to make it, not thinking it was going to be a very tough transition at all. And I was just very fortunate that, within six months of arriving, I was working.”

Of the shift in his career from serious dramas to wacky comedies to big franchises, “I’ve done some strange, off-center stuff,” the actor said with a laugh. “It’s been a varied road I’ve walked on.”