‘Rocky,’ ‘Happy Gilmore’ co-star Weathers dies

Boxing

Carl Weathers, a former NFL linebacker who became a Hollywood action movie and comedy star, playing nemesis-turned-ally Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” movies, facing off against Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Predator” and teaching golf in “Happy Gilmore,” has died. He was 76.

Matt Luber, his manager, said Weathers died Thursday. His family issued a statement saying he died “peacefully in his sleep.”

“Carl was an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life,” his family said. “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.”

As comfortable flexing his muscles on the big screen in “Action Jackson” as he was joking around on the small screen in such shows as “Arrested Development,” Weathers was perhaps most closely associated with Creed, who made his first appearance as the cocky, undisputed heavyweight world champion in 1976’s “Rocky,” starring Sylvester Stallone.

“It puts you on the map and makes your career, so to speak. But that’s a one-off, so you’ve got to follow it up with something. Fortunately those movies kept coming, and Apollo Creed became more and more in people’s consciousness and welcome in their lives, and it was just the right guy at the right time,” Weathers told The Daily Beast in 2017.

Most recently, Weathers has starred in the Disney+ hit “The Mandalorian,” appearing in all three seasons.

Prior to his acting career, Weathers played in eight games over the 1970 and 1971 seasons for the Raiders. He played college football at San Diego State, where he was part of the Aztecs’ undefeated seasons in 1968 and 1969.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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