American actor and former professional football player Carl Weathers passed away Thursday.

According to his manager Matt Luber, Weathers died in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles.

He was 76.

Weathers is most famous for his portrayal as the boxer Apollo Creed in the first four Rocky films.

He also had roles in films such as Predator, The Mandalorian, Action Jackson, and Happy Gilmore.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers,” his 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. 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,” it continued.

Many people made tributes on social media:

Deadline reports:

Born on January 14, 1948, in New Orleans, Weathers appeared in more than 75 films and TV shows during his 50-year screen career. He appeared in nine episodes of the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian over its three seasons, playing Greef Karga, the head of the Bounty Hunters Guild. The character became close to Pedro Pascal’s Mando as the series progressed. Weathers was a 2021 Emmy nominee for role and also directed a pair of episodes in Season 2 and 3.

Last month, Lucasfilm confirmed a Mandalorian feature film, The Mandalorian & Grogu, was in the works, with series creator Jon Favreau to direct. It’s unclear whether Pascal or any other of the series’ cast will be involved in the film, which is slated to begin production sometime this year.

He also voiced Combat Carl in the Oscar-winning Toy Story 4 (2019) and after originating the character for the 2013 TV special Toy Story of Terror.

Other credits include his 1988 star turn in Action Jackson, which came after he starred opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987’s Predator.

However, there’s no doubt Weathers’ most memorable role in his career was starring alongside Sylvester Stallone in the Rocky franchise.

From the New York Post:

He first appeared in the iconic role of Apollo Creed in 1976’s “Rocky,” before reprising the role in 1979’s “Rocky II (1979), and 1982’s “Rocky III,” before the character was killed in the ring by Ivan Drogo (Dolph Lundgren) 1984’s “Rocky IV.”

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The character’s legacy is still ongoing — as Michael B. Jordan plays Apollo Creed’s son in the “Creed” movies, which has seen 3 movies to date, with a fourth movie still coming.

 

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