‘Rocky,’ ‘Mandalorian’ actor Carl Weathers dies

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Actor Carl Weathers, famous for his role as boxer Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” movies, has passed away at 76.

His family announced that he died “peacefully in his sleep” on Feb.1 according to a statement obtained by Deadline.

“Carl was an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life,” the statement continued. “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.”

The New Orleans-born Weathers was an athlete growing up in the Big Easy. He was involved in boxing, soccer, football, gymnastics, judo and wrestling.

Weathers ended up playing football and graduating from Long Beach Polytechnic High School, in Long Beach, California.

He excelled in football and played for the San Diego State Aztecs in 1968 and 1969.

After not being drafted in the NFL, he signed on to the then-Oakland Raiders as a free agent in 1970 as a linebacker. He was released from the team in 1971.

He briefly played for the BC Lions in the Canadian Football League from 1971 to 1973.

During the off-seasons, he studied drama at San Francisco State University and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1974. He later earned a master’s degree in theatre arts at San Diego State.

Once he received his bachelor’s, he retired from the gridiron and pursued acting full-time.

Since breaking into Hollywood, he starred in more than 75 television shows and movies.

He won hearts as Sylvester Stallone’s nemesis-turned-friend in “Rocky,” “Rocky II,” “Rocky III” and “Rocky IV.” His character died in the ring in the 1984 film at the hands of Ivan Drago, played by Dolph Lundgren.

Actor Michael B. Jordan, who starred in “Creed,” the spinoff franchise of Weathers’ character in “Rocky” posted a photo of the actor to his Instagram story with the caption: “We lost a legend.”

He also starred opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1987 film “Predator” and in 1988’s “Action Jackson.”

Adam Sandler posted to Instagram to remember his “Happy Gilmore” costar.

“A true great man,” Sandler wrote. “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.”

More recently he voiced the character Combat Carl in 2019’s “Toy Story 4.” He also appeared in the Disney+ hit “The Mandalorian” in episodes from 2019 to 2023.

His “Mandalorian” colleague, Pedro Pascal, paid tribute to Weathers on social media.

“Words fail,” Pascal wrote in the caption with a broken heart emoji alongside the hashtag #CarlWeathers.

His performance in the “Star Wars” series earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.

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