Rocky’s Apollo Creed, Star Wars, Predator Actor Was 76

Carl Weathers, who starred as Apollo Creed in the first four “Rocky” films opposite Sylvester Stallone, died Thursday, his manager Matt Luber confirmed to Variety. He was 76.

Weathers also starred in 1987’s “Predator” and had a memorable role in Adam Sandler’s “Happy Gilmore.” He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his work in the “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian.”

He voiced Combat Carl in the “Toy Story” franchise and played a fictionalized version of himself in a recurring role on “Arrested Development.” His other credits include the TV series “Street Justice,” “Colony,” “The Shield,” “Chicago Justice” and “Brothers,” and the films “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Death Hunt” and “The Comebacks.”

After working with Sandler on the 1996 golf comedy “Happy Gilmore,” Weathers briefly reprised his role in “Little Nicky” and voiced a character in Sandler’s animated Hanukkah comedy “Eight Crazy Nights.”

Born Jan. 14, 1948, in New Orleans, Weathers played a variety of sports including boxing, football, soccer, wrestling and gymnastics. He played football in college at San Diego State University and helped the Aztecs win the 1969 Pasadena Bowl. While at SDSU, Weathers also pursued a degree in theatre arts, but in 1970 he signed with the Oakland Raiders as a free agent, and he played in eight games in the NFL as a linebacker across two seasons.

After his stint in professional football, Weathers pivoted more seriously to acting, landing small roles in Arthur Marks’ blaxploitation movies “Bucktown” and “Friday Foster,” as well as TV series including “Good Times,” “Kung Fu,” “Cannon” and “Starsky and Hutch.”

He is survived by his ex-wife, Mary Ann, and their two sons.

More to come…

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