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‘Rocky’ and ‘Predator’ Star Carl Weathers Dead at 76: ‘An Exceptional Human Being’

Carl Weathers, who is known for his roles in Rocky and Predator, died at age 76.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers,” his family said in a statement to Deadline on Friday, February 2. “He died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, February 1st, 2024.”

The statement continued: “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.”

Before breaking out as an actor, Weathers was a professional football player, playing defensive end in college. He signed with the Oakland Raiders as a free agent in 1970, which is when he switched into a linebacker. Weathers went on to sign with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League until he retired from the sport in 1974.

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Weathers started to pursue acting by scoring small roles in movies such as Bucktown and Friday Foster. In 1976, Weathers was cast alongside Sylvester Stallone in Rocky. He played the role of Apollo Creed in the next three Rocky films: Rocky II, Rocky III and Rocky IV.

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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Weathers’ prolific career also included roles in Predator, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Death Hunt and The Comebacks. He voiced Combat Carl in the Toy Story movie franchise and played a fictional version of himself on Arrested Development as well.

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On the small screen, Weathers appeared in Street Justice, Colony, The Shield and Brothers. He was nominated in 2021 for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his work in the Star Wars series The Mandalorian.

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Carl Weathers. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

One of Weathers other memorable roles includes Derick “Chubbs” Peterson in Adam Sandler‘s movie Happy Gilmore, which led to him being badly injured from a stunt.

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“I didn’t know it until years later, but I fractured two vertebrae and osteophytes grew out and connected, and it did a kind of self-fuse in a really bad place,” he recalled during an interview with GQ in 2020. “There were three or four years there where I was just in excruciating pain.”

Off screen, Weathers was married to Mary Ann Castle from 1973 to 1983. The couple shared two sons. Weathers tied the knot with Rhona Unsell one year after his divorce from Castle was finalized and the pair remained together until 2006. He was also married to Jennifer Peterson from 2007 to 2009.

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