Long Live Creed: Actor Carl Weathers dies at 67

Long Live Creed: Actor Carl Weathers dies at 67

Carl Weathers, who played Apollo Creed in the first four Rocky films and in Predator, The Mandalorian, Happy Gilmore, Action Jackson, Arrested Development, and scores of other films and TV episodes, died Thursday, his family said. He was 76.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers,” his family stated. He passed away quietly in his sleep on Thursday, February 1, 2024. Carl lived a remarkable life. Through his contributions to movies, television, the arts, and sports, he is remembered internationally and across generations. He was a dear brother, father, grandpa, partner, and friend.”

Weathers, born in New Orleans on January 14, 1948, performed in over 75 films and TV series throughout his 50-year career. Greef Karga, the Bounty Hunters Guild leader, appeared in nine episodes of the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian across three seasons. The series brought the character closer to Pedro Pascal's Mando. Weathers directed two Season 2 and 3 episodes and was a 2021 Emmy candidate.

Lucasfilm announced last month that Jon Favreau would direct The Mandalorian & Grogu. Pascal and other series characters may appear in the film, which will begin production this year.

In Arrested Development, Weathers played himself as an ad-hoc acting instructor who proudly provided suggestions on saving money at food buffets and airport transportation. He appeared in four episodes of the Emmy-winning first four seasons.

He played Police Chief Hampton Forbes in almost two dozen episodes of Carroll O'Connor and Howard Rollins' 1989-95 TV series In the Heat of the Night. Weathers was a series regular in the 1993-94 seventh and final season and post-series telefilms.

Weathers voiced Combat Carl in the Oscar-winning Toy Story 4 (2019) after creating him for the 2013 TV special Toy Story of Terror.

After appearing with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator in 1987, he was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Action Jackson in 1988. Weathers portrays CIA officer Al Dillon, Schwarzenegger's Maj. Alan “Dutch” Schaefer's Vietnam War friend, in the latter film. A mystery life form with thermo-imaging and cloaking skills stalks them, and Dillon dies.

But Weathers is most remembered for playing Apollo Creed, the world heavyweight champion who offered journeyman Philly fighter Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) a crack at the title in 1976's Rocky. Weathers returned in Rocky II (1979), where he fought Balboa for the championship again, and in Rocky III (1982), when he groomed him to battle Clubber Lang. Rocky IV (1985) was Creed's final film, when he was slain in the ring by sculpted Russian heavyweight Ivan Drago.

Weathers played Happy Gilmore's golf coach, Derick “Chubbs” Peterson, alongside Adam Sandler. He left the tour after losing his hand to an alligator, and his wooden prosthetic paw inspired numerous jokes.

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