Carl Weathers tributes: Adam Sandler calls Happy Gilmore co-star ‘a true legend’

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Tributes are pouring in for Rocky star Carl Weathers, who has died aged 76.

The acclaimed actor died in his sleep at his Los Angeles home on Thursday (1 February), his manager, Matt Luber, confirmed today.

“Carl was an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life,” Luber said in a statement shared with The Hollywood Reporter.

“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.”

After a short career professional football, Weathers went on to be cast as Apollo Creed, the main antagonist in Rocky (1976) and Rocky II (1979), opposite Sylvester Stallone’s titular boxer Rocky Balboa.

In 1986, Weathers went on to star as CIA agent Dillon alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in his action sci-fi Predator.

Weathers is survived by his two sons. Tributes have quickly arrived from former collaborators such as Adam Sandler, who called his Happy Gilmore co-star “a true legend”.

Adam Sandler calls Weathers: “a true great man"

Friday 2 February 2024 20:39 , Kevin Perry

Adam Sandler, who cast Weathers in Happy Gilmore, posted a heartfelt tribute: “A true great man. Great dad. Great actor. Great athlete. So much fun to be around always. Smart as hell. Loyal as hell. Funny as hell. Loved his sons more than anything. What a guy!! Everyone loved him. My wife and I had the best times with him every time we saw him. Love to his entire family and Carl will always be known as a true legend.”

Jesse Ventura pays tribute to "an icon”

Friday 2 February 2024 20:49 , Kevin Perry

Jesse Ventura, the former Governor of Minnesota who also starred alongside Weathers in Predator, writes: “We lost an icon. Carl Weathers was a phenomenal talent, a true professional, and a dear friend. All my sympathies and love to his family. I loved working with him on Predator and then celebrating that film with him at various conventions in the ensuing years. Thank you, Carl.”

Weathers’ manager calls him “an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life"

Friday 2 February 2024 20:57 , Kevin Perry

Weathers’ death was confirmed by his manager Matt Luber, who said in a statement: “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, Rocky, Predator and The Mandalorian star, dies aged 76

Robert Rodriguez says Weathers’ performances “were always electrifying"

Friday 2 February 2024 21:04 , Kevin Perry

Director Robert Rodriguez, who worked with Weathers on projects including The Mandalorian, wrote on X/Twitter: “Will miss the great Carl Weathers who I was very fortunate to work with on several occasions. A very kind and generous person. His performances were always electrifying and he was also a terrific director of both stage and screen.”

Dane Cook reveals the Weathers moment that inspired him

Friday 2 February 2024 21:10 , Kevin Perry

Stand-up comedian Dane Cook singled out a specific moment from Rocky which he says inspired him: “RIP to the legend Carl Weathers. This moment, your delivery of it in Rocky inspired me the moment I heard it. I live my life by it. Your voice and performance gave me belief. I love you for that. Rest in peace & power man.”

Leslie Jones: “Say it ain’t so!”

Friday 2 February 2024 21:17 , Kevin Perry

Former Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones posted a short, shocked reaction to news of Weathers’ death: “Say it ain’t so!! Apollo Creed!! RIP TO MR. Carl Weathers!”

Pedro Pasal says “words fail” after death of Mandalorian co-star

Friday 2 February 2024 21:19 , Kevin Perry

Pedro Pascal, who starred in The Mandalorian opposite Weathers, wrote on Instagram: “words fail”.

Robert Griffin III says: “RIP to a legend"

Friday 2 February 2024 21:27 , Kevin Perry

Weathers was much-loved in the NFL world, and former Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is among those paying tribute today.

“Carl Weathers has passed away at the age of 76,” he wrote. “There is no Rocky without Apollo Creed and we were lucky that Carl brought him to life. RIP to a legend.”

Jon Lovitz remembers “a wonderful actor and athlete"

Friday 2 February 2024 21:30 , Kevin Perry

Comedian and actor Jon Lovitz writes: “God bless Carl Weathers. A wonderful actor and athlete. I got to know him years ago. He hosted SNL and was so great to work with. So great in Rocky. And such a nice guy. Another good guy, gone. This is very sad news. God bless him and his family.”

Mark Hamill reflects on “losing so many great Americans"

Friday 2 February 2024 21:39 , Kevin Perry

Stars Wars star Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the franchise, wrote a message on X/Twitter paying tribute to Weathers, Broadway legend Chita Rivera and civil rights activist and talk show host Joe Madison: “It’s been really hard losing so many great Americans recently, but deeply grateful we had them as long as we did. #RIP_ChitaRivera #RIP_JoeMadison #RIP_CarlWeathers”

Stan Collymore says “another part of the fabric of childhood passes on"

Friday 2 February 2024 21:43 , Kevin Perry

Among the many fans paying their respects to Weathers is the former Liverpool and Aston Villa footballer Stan Collymore, who writes: “Another part of the fabric of childhood passes on. Rest in Peace, Carl Weathers, AKA Apollo Creed. ‘There is no tomorrow!’”

Magic Johnson remembers a “truly amazing actor and entertainer”

Friday 2 February 2024 21:51 , Kevin Perry

Former basketball star Earvin “Magic” Johnson recalled his favourite Weathers roles, writing: “Rest in peace to the truly amazing actor and entertainer, Carl Weathers. We all marveled at his talents on the big screen in the “Rocky” franchise as Apollo Creed, and I really enjoyed him in his role as the police chief in the hit TV show “In the Heat of the Night”! Cookie and I are praying for the Weathers family during this difficult time.”

Carl Weathers’ best TV and movie moments

Friday 2 February 2024 21:56 , Kevin Perry

The Independent’s video team have put together this compilation featuring some of Weathers’ finest moments from Happy Gilmore, Arrested Development, Predator, Rocky II and The Mandalorian.

Arnold Schwarzenegger says: “We couldn’t have made Predator without him”

Friday 2 February 2024 22:05 , Kevin Perry

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who starred alongside Weathers in 1987’s Predator, has posted a heartfelt tribute to his friend and co-star.

“Carl Weathers will always be a legend,” wrote Schwarzenegger. “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.”

Michael Warburton shares classic footage of Weathers and Stallone

Friday 2 February 2024 23:18 , Tom Murray

The Strays star Michael Warburton shared some classic footage of Weathers and Stallone choreographing a fight scene for Rocky.

Michael Strahan: 'It was an honor and privilege to play your son’

Friday 2 February 2024 23:20 , Tom Murray

Michael Strahan, who played Weathers’s son on Brothers took to X to share a tribute to the late actor. “RIP to the great Carl Weathers,” he wrote.

“It was an honor and privilege to play your son on the sitcom, Brothers!! You were an inspiration that made me feel like my dreams were attainable because you came from sports and conquered entertainment. You are loved and will be missed! My love and condolences to the Weathers family. RIP my friend.”