'Rocky' and 'Mandalorian' actor Carl Weathers dies at 76

Carl Weathers, a former NFL linebacker who became a Hollywood action movie and comedy star, playing nemesis-turned-ally Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” movies, facing-off against Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Predator” and teaching golf in “Happy Gilmore,” has died. He was 76.

Associated Press

Feb 2, 2024, 8:03 PM

Updated 131 days ago

Share:

'Rocky' and 'Mandalorian' actor Carl Weathers dies at 76
Carl Weathers, a former NFL linebacker who became a Hollywood action movie and comedy star, playing nemesis-turned-ally Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” movies, facing-off against Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Predator” and teaching golf in “Happy Gilmore,” has died. He was 76.
Matt Luber, his manager, said Weathers died Thursday. His family issued a statement saying he died “peacefully in his sleep."
Weathers was as comfortable flexing his muscles on the big screen in “Action Jackson” as he was joking around on the small screen in such shows as “Arrested Development,” Weathers was perhaps most closely associated with Creed, who made his first appearance as the cocky, undisputed heavyweight world champion in 1976’s “Rocky,” starring Sylvester Stallone.“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, and Apollo Creed became more and more in people’s consciousness and welcome in their lives, and it was just the right guy at the right time,” he told The Daily Beast in 2017.
Most recently, Weathers has starred in the Disney+ hit “The Mandalorian,” appearing in all three seasons.
Creed, who appeared in the first four “Rocky” movies, memorably died in the ring of 1984’s “Rocky IV,” going toe-to-toe with the hulking, steroided-using Soviet Ivan Drago, played by Dolph Lundgren. Before he entered the ring, James Brown sang “Living in America” with showgirls and Creed popped up on a balcony in a Star-Spangled Banner shorts and waistcoat combo and an Uncle Sam hat, dancing and taunting Drago.
A bloodied Creed collapses in the ring after taking a vicious beating, twitches and is cradled by Rocky as he dies, inevitably setting up a fight between Drago and Rocky. But while Creed is gone, his character’s son, Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed, would lead his own boxing trilogy starting in 2015.
Weathers went on to 1987’s “Predator,” where he flexed his pecs alongside Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura and a host of others, and 1988’s nouveau blaxploitation flick “Action Jackson,” where he trains his flamethrower on a bad guy and asks, “How do you like your ribs?” before broiling him.
He later added a false wooden hand to play a gold pro for the 1996 comedy classic “Happy Gilmore” opposite Adam Sandler and starred in Dick Wolf’s short-lived spin-off series “Chicago Justice” in 2017 and in Disney’s “The Mandalorian,” earning an Emmy Award nomination in 2021.
Weathers grew up admiring actors such as Woody Strode, whose combination of physique and acting prowess in “Spartacus” made an early impression. Others he idolized included actors Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte and athletes Jim Brown and Muhammad Ali, stars who broke the mold and the color barrier.“There are so many people that came before me who I admired and whose success I wanted to emulate, and just kind of hit the benchmarks they hit in terms of success, who created a pathway that I’ve been able to walk and find success as a result. And hopefully I can inspire someone else to do good work as well,” he told the Detroit News 2023. “I guess I’m just a lucky guy.” Growing up in New Orleans, Weathers started performing in plays as early as grade school. In high school, athletics took him down another path but he would reunite with his first love later in life.
Weathers played college football at San Diego State University - he majored in theater - and went on to play for one season in the NFL, for the Oakland Raiders, in 1970.“When I found football, it was a completely different outlet,” says Weathers told the Detroit News. “It was more about the physicality, although one does feed the other. You needed some smarts because there were playbooks to study and film to study, to learn about the opposition on any given week.”After the Raiders, he joined the Canadian Football League, playing for two years while finishing up his studies during the offseason at San Francisco State University. He graduated with a B.A. in drama in 1974.


More from News 12
2:39
LI shooting club links Rex Heuermann to Manorville, aiding police in Gilgo Beach murders investigation

LI shooting club links Rex Heuermann to Manorville, aiding police in Gilgo Beach murders investigation

1:10
Mostly sunny and warm Thursday, chance for Friday evening storms

Mostly sunny and warm Thursday, chance for Friday evening storms

1:54
Stony Brook University study finds connection between 9/11 toxins and dementia

Stony Brook University study finds connection between 9/11 toxins and dementia

1:49
April earthquake possibly to blame for broken church elevator in Hempstead Village

April earthquake possibly to blame for broken church elevator in Hempstead Village

0:25
Town officials attempt to save Central American Day Festival in Brentwood

Town officials attempt to save Central American Day Festival in Brentwood

1:46
Some New Yorkers fear consequences of growing marijuana at home

Some New Yorkers fear consequences of growing marijuana at home

2:23
PSEG LI crew frees bird stuck in wires behind Shirley home

PSEG LI crew frees bird stuck in wires behind Shirley home

1:31
Indian-American fans torn between nations as Cricket World Cup wraps up in Nassau

Indian-American fans torn between nations as Cricket World Cup wraps up in Nassau

2:15
Eisenhower Park to reopen to the public Thursday, including all 3 golf courses and Aquatic Center

Eisenhower Park to reopen to the public Thursday, including all 3 golf courses and Aquatic Center

0:41
NY attorney general: Long Island to get over $16 million from settlement reached with e-cig maker Juul

NY attorney general: Long Island to get over $16 million from settlement reached with e-cig maker Juul

2:15
New York launches Mobile ID to digitize driver’s licenses, non-driver IDs. Here’s how to get it.

New York launches Mobile ID to digitize driver’s licenses, non-driver IDs. Here’s how to get it.

0:19
Nassau PD: Woman assaulted police officer outside UBS Arena

Nassau PD: Woman assaulted police officer outside UBS Arena

0:25
Rockville Centre to fly flags at half-staff in honor of officer killed in off-duty crash

Rockville Centre to fly flags at half-staff in honor of officer killed in off-duty crash

0:25
Police: Mom, 2 young children hit by car in Aquebogue

Police: Mom, 2 young children hit by car in Aquebogue

0:46
Students in East Islip display smashed cars on front lawn of high school for drunk driving awareness

Students in East Islip display smashed cars on front lawn of high school for drunk driving awareness

1:28
Garden Guide: This is why your plants are blooming better than usual this year

Garden Guide: This is why your plants are blooming better than usual this year

1:35
What's Cooking: Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace's lemon iced almond biscotti

What's Cooking: Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace's lemon iced almond biscotti

21:13
Kane In Your Corner: Victims of the System

Kane In Your Corner: Victims of the System

Is your dad awesome? Long Island tell us why your dad rocks!

Is your dad awesome? Long Island tell us why your dad rocks!

2024 Cricket World Cup on Long Island - Special Coverage

2024 Cricket World Cup on Long Island - Special Coverage