Carl Weathers, who starred as Apollo Creed in the first four Rocky films and appeared in Predator, The Mandalorian, Happy Gilmore, Action Jackson and dozens of other films and TV shows, died Tuesday, his family announced. He was 76.
“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.”
Based on the last few things I had seen Weathers in, I would have never guessed that he was in poor health. Just an absolute fiery person and an incredible actor.
To me, Carl Weathers is one of the defining actors of 1980s action. Apollo Creed had such a great arc as a character which Weathers crushed not only with his fantastic acting but his physicality. You know how hard it was to compete with dudes like Arnie and Stallone? Especially when the latter was more shredded by the year? Weathers managed to always be as large as larger-than-life actors he worked with which is a rare talent. Especially for that era of movies.
Weathers was not only an icon of 80s action, but he found a second act with Happy Madison via Happy Gilmore. Ironically, he got through all the Rocky movies without much of a scratch but ended up fracturing 2 vertebrae playing Chubbs Peterson. He reprised the role in Little Nicky, and had a hilarious cameo in Arrested Development not long after that.
It also felt like he was coming into a third act with The Mandalorian, as Star Wars fans really loved his portrayal of Greef Karga. I'll miss his presence on both the big and small screen terribly.
I always prefer for these sort of blogs to be a celebration of life, so let's watch some of his best moments.