Carl Weathers dead at 76: Actor beloved for his role as Apollo Creed in the ‘Rocky’ franchise dies
Carl Weathers, the actor best known for his role as Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” film franchise, has died at the age of 76. Weathers’ family announced his death on Friday.
After a career that began with roles in blaxploitation films and small roles in popular television shows such as “Good Times, Kung Fu and Starsky and Hutch, Weathers got his biggest break when he was cast in the Creed role for the first installment of the “Rocky” franchise The film went on to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.
Weathers was a perfect fit for the role of flashy world champion and cocky Creed opposite Sylvester Stallone’s underdog Rocky Balboa. Weathers recalled the strange story of his casting when he spoke to The Hollywood Reporter in 2015.
“There was no one to read with, and they said you are going to read with the writer [Stallone]”said Weathers. “And we read through the scene and finally I didn’t feel like it had floated, the scene had floated, and they were quiet and it was m this moment of wonder, I felt. , at least. So I said, ‘I could do a lot better if you could get me a real actor to work with,'” he says, laughing. “So I insulted the star of the movie without really knowing and without intending to. “
Weathers would appear in several other installments of the Rocky franchise before his character was killed off in Rocky IV by Ivan Drago.
After starring in the Rocky films, Weathers had several other major roles in film and television, including Predator, Happy Gilmore, Toy Story 4 and The Mandalorian.
Before his start in Hollywood, Weathers was a successful athlete in several sports. After playing college football at Long Beach City College and transferring to San Diego State University, Weathers signed with the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 1970, playing as a linebacker. He played in seven games in his rookie season, a season in which the Raiders won the AFC West division title before being released after playing in one game the following season. After playing football in the Canadian Football League for three seasons, Weathers retired in 1974.
“We are very saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers,” the Weathers family said in a statement. “He passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, February 1, 2024. … Carl was an extraordinary man who lived an extraordinary life . With his contributions to film, television, the arts and sports, he has left an indelible mark. and is known throughout the world and across generations. He was a brother, father, grandfather, companion and friend.”