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Carl Weathers: Stallone, Lundgren & More Pay Tribute to Late Actor

The entertainment industry is paying tribute to Carl Weathers, who passed away at age 76 - including Stallone, Schwarzenegger & many more.

The entertainment world is reeling from the passing of athlete-turned-actor Carl Weathers at the age of 76 on February 1st. Best known for his turns as Apollo Creed in the Rocky franchise, Dillion from the 1987 action-horror film Predator, Action Jackson (1988), and Chubbs in the 1996 sports comedy classic Happy Gilmore, he garnered a new generation of fans as the bounty hunter-turned-magistrate in Greef Carga in the Star Wars series The Mandalorian for Disney+. Weathers originally started his career in football as an unsigned free agent for the Oakland Raiders (Now Las Vegas) in 1970 after playing his college ball at Long Beach City College and San Diego State University, playing eight games before he was released in 1971. After a three-year stint with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League, Weathers decided to pursue an acting career, starting as an extra in blaxploitation films with his onscreen debut in an uncredited role in the Dirty Harry film, Magnum Force (1973).

Carl Weathers
Novi, MI – May 20, 2023: Carl Weathers hosts a panel at Motor City Comic Con ( Nagy)

With 80 credits to his name, Weathers appeared in several TV shows like Good Times, Kung Fu, S.W.A.T., The Six Million Dollar Man, and Cannon before landing his big break as the boxing heavyweight champion in 1976's Rocky, written and starring Sylvester Stallone as title character Rocky Balboa. The success of the character and the film led to appearances in three sequels as a rival-turned-best friend until the 1985 sequel, Rocky IV, the franchise's most commercially successful film that found his character dying at the hands of Dolph Lundgren's Ivan Drago, a Soviet boxer, during a match. Rocky trains vigorously before avenging his friend in their match. Following the franchise, Weathers continued to have success playing a dynamic range of roles on film, TV, and voiceover work, including Psyche, Arrested Development, Dick Wolf's Chicago franchise, Toy Story 4, In the Heat of the Night, and more.

The Mandalorian: Carl Weathers Confirmed Directing in Season Three
Carl Weathers in The Mandalorian. Image courtesy of Lucasfilm / Disney+

Tributes from across the entertainment industry poured in for Weathers. "We lost a legend yesterday. My life was forever changed for the better the day I met Carl Weathers. Rest in power and keep punching," Stallone wrote, also posting a video on Instagram adding, "Hello everyone. Today's an incredibly sad day for me. I'm so torn up. I can't even tell you. I'm trying to hold it in because Carl Weathers was such an intricate part of my life and success. Everything about it. I give him incredible credit and kudos because when he walked into the room and saw him for the first time, I saw greatness, but I never realized how great. I could never have accomplished what I have in 'Rocky' without him. He was absolutely brilliant with his voice, size, power, and athletic ability, but more importantly, his heart and soul. It's a horrible loss. I'm standing in front of this painting because it was the last time we were ever in the ring together. He was magic, and I was so fortunate to be part of his life. Apollo, keep punching."

Carl Weathers: Hollywood Pays Tribute to 'Rocky' Actor, Passed at 76
Carl Weathers and Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV (1985). Image courtesy of MGM

"I was saddened to hear the news this morning. Along with the world, I will miss Carl. He was a great actor, a terrific athlete, and a good friend," Lundgren wrote on Instagram. "I cherish many special memories of Carl, both professionally and personally. Like Apollo Creed, he had that special charm that always brought a smile to your face. 🙏" Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played Dutch in the John McTiernan film, wrote, "Carl Weathers will always be a legend. An extraordinary athlete, a fantastic actor, and a great person. We couldn't have made Predator without him. And we certainly wouldn't have had such a wonderful time making it. Every minute with him – on set and off – was pure joy. He was the type of friend who pushes you to be your best just to keep up with him. I'll miss him, and my thoughts are with his family."

"A true great man. Great dad. Great actor. Great athlete," Sandler wrote. "So much fun to be around always. Smart as hell. Loyal as hell. Funny as hell. Loved his sons more than anything. What a guy!! Everyone loved him. My wife and I had the best times with him every time we saw him. Love to his entire family, and Carl will always be known as a true legend." Others pouring tribute include Predator co-star Jesse Ventura, The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal, Giancarlo Esposito, director Robert Rodriguez, Dane Cook, Anson Mount, Danny Trejo, Las Vegas Raiders, and more.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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