Carl Weathers, the US actor who played Apollo Creed in 1976’s ‘Rocky’, has died at 76.
In a statement on Friday evening, Weathers’ family announced that he died “peacefully in his sleep” on February 1.
“Carl was an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life,” the statement shared through his reps reads.
“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.”
Weathers was best known for playing Apollo Creed alongside Sylvester Stallone in the first four Rocky films. His footage was also used in the Creed films led by Michael B Jordan.
He co-starred with Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987’s ‘Predator’. Most recently, he starred in the Disney+ Star Wars series ‘The Mandalorian’ — appearing in all three seasons.
Weathers was born in New Orleans on January 14, 1948, and started performing in plays as early as grade school. In high school, he became an athlete.
He played American football at San Diego State University, where he majored in theater and went on to play one season in the NFL, for the Oakland Raiders, in 1970.
Weathers later joined the Canadian Football League, playing for two years while finishing his studies during the offseason at San Francisco State University.
He graduated with a B.A. in drama in 1974. He got married and divorced three times.
Weathers is survived by two children, Jason and Matthew.