Very sad news today out of Hollywood:
Carl Weathers — a veteran actor of both the big screen and the small screen — passed away on Thursday, February 1.
He was 76 years old.
A former professional football player, Weathers got his major break as the character of Apollo Creed in the first four Rocky films… going on to appear in such hit movies as Predator, Happy Gilmore and Action Jackson.
More recently, Weathers appeared on nine episodes of The Mandalorian as Greef Karga.
“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers,” his family now says 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. 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.”
Overall, Weathers (a native of New Orleans) starred in over 75 films and television shows.
His beloved character of Apollo — the long-time heavyweight champion of the world until Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky defeated him — was killed off in Rocky IV.
Over the past few years, however, Michael B. Jordan has anchored a trio of movies titled Creed, piggybacking off the popularity of Weathers’ former role to star as Apollo’s son.
Weathers also had a memorable turn as Derick “Chubbs” Peterson opposite Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore, portraying the title character’s golf coach.
Peterson was a professional golfer who was forced to leave the tour after lost his hand to an alligator.
For his time on The Mandalorian, Weather was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.
Just last month, meanwhile, Weathers filmed a FanDuel commercial for Super Bowl LVIII, appearing opposite Rob Gronkowski.
Prior to launching his acting career, Weathers played in the NFL for Oakland Raiders (1970–1971) and then in Canada for the BC Lions (1971–1973).
Elsewhere, Weathers voiced Combat Carl in Toy Story 4; and played a version of himself on the comedy Arrested Development.
Back in 2020, the veteran star told newspaper Gambit that he discovered a passion for performing at a young age, performing in plays.
“I was bitten by the bug, as they say,” Weather explained at the time.
“On stage having people laugh at the good lines and applaud at the end — it’s pretty, pretty infectious. Once that bug gets inside you, it’s kind of hard to give it up.”
No official cause of death has been announced for Carl Weather.
We’ll update this story with more updates as news breaks.
For now, however, we send our condolences to the friends, family members and loved ones of this versatile and memorable actor.
May he rest in peace.