Hollywood action and comedy star Carl Weathers dead at age 76

 February 3, 2024

A legendary Hollywood star known both for his many action and comedic roles in films and on TV, Carl Weathers, has sadly passed away at the age of 76, according to Deadline.

"We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers," the actor's 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," the family added. "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."

Football player turned actor

Deadline reported that Weathers was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and initially pursued a football career and was a standout linebacker at San Diego State University, after which he played for part of one season in the NFL as an undrafted rookie with the Oakland Raiders before moving over to the Canadian Football League in 1971 to play a few seasons with the B.C. Lions.

Around the time that his brief professional football career ended in 1973, however, he launched a decades-long career in the entertainment industry for which he became incredibly famous.

Weathers is undoubtedly best known for his portrayal of boxing champ Apollo Creed in the "Rocky" film franchise alongside Sylvester Stallone, but also gained fans when he starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Predator," drew laughs as Adam Sandler's golf coach in "Happy Gilmore," and most recently played a bounty hunters guild head-turned-respected community leader in the Disney+ series "The Mandalorian."

According to his IMDb page, Weathers was credited with 80 acting appearances that included dozens of TV shows, films, and voiceover work for animated series and movies as well as video games. He also had 17 credits as a director and four as a producer.

While many of his TV appearances were one-offs, he did earn recurring roles in shows like "Fortune Dane," "Tour of Duty," "Street Justice," "In the Heat of the Night," "Brothers," "Colony," the "Chicago" Fire, P.D., and Justice series, and as a self-deprecating version of himself on "Arrested Development."

Tributes and condolences from former co-stars

"Rocky" star Sylvester Stallone posted a video message to Instagram in which he fought back tears as he paid tribute to his good friend Weathers, and wrote the caption: "We lost a legend yesterday. My life was forever changed for the better the day I met Carl Weathers. Rest in power and keeping punching."


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A post shared by Sly Stallone (@officialslystallone)

"Predator" star Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote in a tribute post on X, "Carl Weathers will always be a legend. 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,"

He added, "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."

Likewise, "Happy Gilmore" star Adam Sandler posted pictures from the movie and said of Weathers, "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."

Then there was former "The Mandalorian" star Gina Carano, who shared a lengthy and emotional tribute to the man she had become great friends with while making the show and who had stood by her in support when she was effectively canceled and booted from the show for sharing her non-leftist political opinions.

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