Former NFL linebacker Carl Weathers, rose to fame in Hollywood comedy and action films, including roles as Apollo Creed, the antagonist who later turned ally in the “Rocky” films, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s opponent in “Predator,” and a golf instructor in “Happy Gilmore,” has passed away. He was seventy-six.
The death of Weathers in his Los Angeles residence on Thursday was confirmed by his manager, Matt Luber. In a letter to the Associated Press, his family said he passed away “peacefully in his sleep.”
Carl Weathers was a remarkable guy who led an astonishing life, according to a statement from Weathers’ family. He made a lasting impact on the arts, sports, television, and movies, and he was well known both internationally and among different generations.
He was a cherished brother, father, grandfather, partner, and friend, according to his family.
Carl Weathers remembered meeting Stallone during an audition in 2015 when he was informed that the actor was also the movie’s writer. However, Weathers was unaware that Stallone was also the movie’s star.
Feeling that the reading had not gone well, he remembered afterward that he had just blurted out that he would do much better if he had a real actor to work with.
Carl Weathers’ Some Remarkable Doings
Throughout his 50-year cinematic career, Carl Weathers—who was born in New Orleans on January 14, 1948—appeared in over 75 motion pictures and television series. In nine of the three seasons of the Disney Star Wars series The Mandalorian, he faced off against Greef Karga, the leader of the Bounty Hunters Guild.
As the series went on, the character grew closer to Pedro Pascal’s Mando. Weathers directed two episodes in Seasons 2 and 3 and was nominated for an Emmy in 2021 for the role.
In a notable Arrested Development arc, Weathers showcased his comedic skills as well. He played a self-portrait as an impromptu acting teacher who gladly advised on how to save costs on anything from food buffets to airport transportation.
During the first four seasons of the Emmy-winning show, he made four appearances.
In addition, Carl Weathers provided the voice of Combat Carl in several cartoons from the cherished Disney-Pixar series, including “Toy Story 4”
Before his multi-decade acting career took off, Weathers was successful in the football league. After completing his undergraduate studies at San Diego State University, he joined the Oakland Raiders as a professional player. His biography states that in 1974, he gave up the sport to focus on acting.
Weathers, a native of New Orleans, stated in the newspaper Gambit that he got his start in theater at an early age and fell in love with performance.
He claimed in 2020 that he became afflicted with the contagious disease of performing on stage and getting applause after his well-written lines. He went on to say that it’s difficult to kick the bug once it’s inside of you.
Weathers stated to British GQ in 2020 that he believes there is a distinction between an “actor” and a “movie star.”
Following his time as a professional football player, Weathers turned more intently to acting, securing supporting parts in TV shows including “Good Times,” “Kung Fu,” “Cannon,” and “Starsky and Hutch,” as well as brief roles in the blaxploitation films “Friday Foster” and “Bucktown” directed by Arthur Marks.
Though his character, Apollo Creed, died in “Rocky IV,” Weathers resisted Stallone’s request for permission to use footage from previous “Rocky” movies for the sixth installment in the series, 2006’s “Rocky Balboa,” and instead pushed for a real role in the picture.
Saying no, Stallone sent in a look-alike actor to film combat scenes set in flashbacks. Once they got back together, Weathers permitted Stallone to use his image in the “Creed ” sequel series, which stars Michael B. Jordan as Apollo Creed’s son.