Hollywood actor Carl Weathers, who is most famous for playing the heavyweight boxer Apollo Creed in the Rocky movies, passed away on Friday.
His family announced the 76-year-old actor's death in a statement which did not explain the cause of death but did say he passed away peacefully in his sleep.
"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 recognised worldwide and across generations," the statement read.
Weathers was not always an actor. He used to play in the National Football League (NFL) for the Oakland Raiders as a linebacker.
But he then took on a career on the silver screen, making 75 appearances in movies and television in a career spanning five decades with some iconic roles along the way.
Weathers began his acting career in the 1970s with small roles in blaxploitation cinema. His breakout role came in 1976 when he played Apollo Creed in the first four [Rocky] films. His portrayal of Apollo Creed, a charismatic and formidable boxer, is still remembered as one of the most iconic roles in film history. He also starred as Colonel Al Dillon in [Predator] (1987) and Combat Carl in the [Toy Story] franchise.
In addition to his film roles, Weathers also had a successful television career. He portrayed Det. Beaudreaux in the television series [Street Justice] (1991–1993) and a fictionalised version of himself in the comedy series [Arrested Development] (2004, 2013)1. He had a recurring role as Greef Karga in the [Star Wars] series [The Mandalorian] (2019–2023), for which he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.
Off-screen, Weathers was married and divorced three times. He has two sons named Jason and Matthew. His family described him as an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life.