actor Carl Weathersa former professional football player who rose to fame playing charismatic boxer Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” movies, died on Thursday, his manager said in a statement on Friday.
Carl WeathersPhoto: Mark Von Holden / AP / Profimedia
“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers. He passed away peacefully in his sleep,” manager Matt Luber said in a statement.
“Carl was an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life,” the statement continued. “Through his contributions to film, television, the arts and sports, he has left an indelible mark and is recognized around the world and across generations. He was a much loved brother, father, grandfather, partner and friend.”
Carl Weathers and Sylvester Stallone PHOTO MediaPunch / BACKGRID / Backgrid USA / Profimedia
Although he had other prominent roles, starring in the recent Star Wars spin-off series The Mandalorian and the 1987 sci-fi horror film Predator, Weathers was best known for his role as Apollo Creed alongside Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa in the blockbuster films of the 1970s and 1980s.
Weathers’ character was at first a rival and later an ally of the Rocky character in the first four films of the series.
Inspired by Muhammad Ali, Creed’s character demonstrated intelligence and brilliance, giving audiences a strong and positive black character at a time when cinema was just beginning to break the stereotype.
Last year, in October, another important actor of the Rocky film series died – Burt Young, who played the brother-in-law of the protagonist played by Sylvester Stallone. These were 83 years old.