The world is a little darker today. We’re sad to share that legendary actor, director and producer Carl Weathers has passed away. Deadline reports Weathers died on February 1, 2024, at 76. He’s survived by two sons. 

His family released a statement: 

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers. 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.”

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Football

Weathers was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on January 14, 1948. As a child, he excelled in sports, leading him to sign with the Oakland Raiders as a free agent in 1970. He played as a linebacker. Weathers went on to sign with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League later that month, participating in 18 games across three years. After retiring from football in 1974, Weathers pursued an acting career, earning a drama degree from San Francisco State University that same year. 

Acting 

Weathers’ break came in 1976 when he scored one of his most well-known roles as Apollo Creed in Rocky opposite Sylvester Stallone. He would reprise that part in three sequels — Rocky II in 1979, Rocky III in 1982 and Rocky IV in 1985. 

Weathers cemented his career as a bona fide action star after his turn as Apollo in roles like Dillon in 1987’s Predator and the titular character in 1988’s Action Jackson. However, his work spans all genres, including his memorable part as Chubbs opposite Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore. In 2004, he continued that comedic streak by recurring as a fictionalized version of himself in Arrested Development.

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Later in his career, Weathers portrayed Mark Jeffries in the Chicago franchise. He was the lead in 2017’s Chicago Justice and appeared in Chicago P.Dand Chicago Fire in the same role. Star Wars fans also know him as Greef Karga in The Mandalorian, which he starred in for three seasons. As of writing, his last appearance is in the show’s Season 3 finale, “Chapter 24: The Return,” which aired on April 19, 2023. 

Directing

Weathers began directing in 1995 with an episode of the Lorenzo Lamas-led Renegade. Other directing credits include an episode of Hawaii Five-0 in 2019, Law & Order and FBI episodes in 2022, two episodes of Chicago Med in 2022 and 2023 and two episodes of The Mandalorian. He was at the helm for Season 1’s “Chapter 12: The Siege” and Season 3’s “Chapter 20: The Foundling.” 

Rest in peace, Carl Weathers. Your prolific resume speaks for itself, as do your immense kindness and loving demeanor. To quote the words you often post as a hashtag on Twitter, “Be Peace.” 

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Melody McCune
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