Carl Weathers dies aged 76: Rocky and Predator actor passes peacefully in his sleep as Apollo Creed star’s family pay tribute to ‘beloved brother, father, grandfather, partner, and friend

  • The screen star, who was most famous for playing  Apollo Creed in four Rocky films, passed ‘peacefully in his sleep’ on Thursday February 1
  • He is survived by sons Jason and Matthew who he shared with ex-wife Mary-Ann Castle and his grandchildren 

Iconic Rocky and Predator actor Carl Weathers has died aged 76. 

The screen star, who was most famous for playing Rocky Balboa’s adversary-turned boxing mentor Apollo Creed in four Rocky films, passed ‘peacefully in his sleep’ on Thursday February 1, his family announced in a statement.

They said: ‘We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers. 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.’

Iconic Rocky and Predator actor Carl Weathers has died aged 76 (pictured 2022)

The screen star, who was most famous for playing Rocky Balboa's adversary-turned boxing mentor Apollo Creed in four Rocky films, passed 'peacefully in his sleep' on Thursday February 1, his family announced in a statement (pictured with Sylvester Stallone)

The screen star, who was most famous for playing Rocky Balboa’s adversary-turned boxing mentor Apollo Creed in four Rocky films, passed ‘peacefully in his sleep’ on Thursday February 1, his family announced in a statement (pictured with Sylvester Stallone)

Former professional football player Weathers shot to worldwide fame playing heavyweight champion of the world Apollo Creed in 1976’s Rocky.

Creed gave ‘Italian Stallion’ underdog Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) his shot at the title in the iconic film – and Weathers reprised his role in 1979’s Rocky II in which Creed had a title rematch with Rocky, 1982’s Rocky III in which he faced off with Clubber Lang (Mr.T) and 1984’s Rocky IV – which saw his character killed in the ring by Russian heavyweight Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren).

Weathers previously revealed he had insulted Stallone’s acting abilities during his Rocky audition – which landed him the role.

He said: ‘There was nobody to read with, and they said you’re going to read with the writer [Stallone].

And we read through the scene and at the end of it, I didn’t feel like it had really sailed, that the scene had sailed, and they were quiet and there was this moment of awkwardness, I felt, anyway. 

‘So I just blurted out, ‘I could do a lot better if you got me a real actor to work with. So I just insulted the star of the movie without really knowing it and not intending to.’

Stallone felt the jibe was something Creed would say, with Weathers adding: ‘Sometimes the mistakes are the ones that get you the gig.’

He is survived by sons Jason and Matthew who he shared with ex-wife Mary-Ann Castle and his grandchildren. 

Creed gave 'Italian Stallion' underdog Rocky ( Sylvester Stallone ) his shot at the title in the iconic film - and Weathers reprised his role in 1979's Rocky II, 1982's Rocky III and 1984's Rocky IV - which saw his character killed in the ring (pictured) by Ivan Drago ( Dolph Lundgren )

Creed gave ‘Italian Stallion’ underdog Rocky ( Sylvester Stallone ) his shot at the title in the iconic film – and Weathers reprised his role in 1979’s Rocky II, 1982’s Rocky III and 1984’s Rocky IV – which saw his character killed in the ring (pictured) by Ivan Drago ( Dolph Lundgren )

Weathers is seen as Colonel Al Dillon in 1987's Predator alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger

Weathers is seen as Colonel Al Dillon in 1987’s Predator alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger

Sylvester StalloneDolph Lundgren

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