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Carl Weathers, Apollo Creed from ‘Rocky’ and ‘Mandalorian’ star, dies at 76

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LOS ANGELES – Carl Weathers, the actor best known as Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” movies and more recently for his role in the hit “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian,” died Thursday in his sleep, according to his family.

He was 76.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers,” according to the family statement. “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,” his family said. “He was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, partner, and friend.”

Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers perform a boxing scene in the movie "Rocky" in 1977
Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers perform a boxing scene in the movie “Rocky” in 1977. Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Weathers got his big-screen break in 1976, when he landed the role of Creed in “Rocky,” according to his bio on IMDb. He continued his role in three other “Rocky” movies. Weathers also landed parts in 1987’s “Predator,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, in Adam Sandler’s “Happy Gilmore” in 1996 and on the small screen in “The Mandalorian.”

Weathers also was the voice for Combat Carl in “Toy Story 4” and other shorts in the beloved Disney-Pixar franchise. He also has acting credits on TV shows such as “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Magnum P.I.” and “Chicago P.D.”

Carl Weathers as Greef in The Mandalorian.
Carl Weathers as Greef in The Mandalorian.Disney+

Before his decades’-long acting career took off, Weathers saw success on the gridiron. He played collegiately at San Diego State University and then played professionally for the Oakland Raiders. He retired from the sport in 1974 to seriously pursue acting, according to his biography.

Weathers was nominated for an Emmy in 2021 for Outstanding Guest Actor for the re-occurring role as Greef Karga in “The Mandalorian.”

Adam Sandler posted on the X platform on Friday that his “Happy Gilmore” costar will forever be known as a “true legend.”

“A true great man. Great dad. Great actor. Great athlete. So much fun to be around always,” Sandler wrote.

“Smart as hell. Loyal as hell. Funny as hell. Loved his sons more than anything,” Sandler said. “What a guy!! Everyone loved him. My wife and I had the best times with him every time we saw him. Love to his entire family and Carl will always be known as a true legend.”

Diana Dasrath reported from Los Angeles and Antonio Planas from New York.

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