Carl Weathers, who played Apollo Creed in “Rocky” and the Mandalorian, dies at age 76.

    His manager, Matt Luber, told Variety that Carl Weathers died Thursday. He played Apollo Creed opposite Sylvester Stallone in the first four “Rocky” movies. He was 76 years old.

    Besides that, he had a famous part in Adam Sandler’s “Happy Gilmore” and was in “Predator” in 1987. For his part in the “Star Wars” show “The Mandalorian,” there was an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series that he was up for.

    There was a time when he voiced Combat Carl in “Toy Story 4” and another time when he played a made-up version of himself in “Arrested Development.” He has also been in the movies “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Death Hunt,” and “The Comebacks” and the TV shows “Brothers,” “Colony,” “The Shield,” “Chicago Justice,” and “Street Justice.”

    Sandler directed “Happy Gilmore,” a golf comedy in 1996. Weathers later played the same character for a short time in “Little Nicky” and voiced a character in Sandler’s cartoon Hanukkah comedy “Eight Crazy Nights.”

    Weathers was born in New Orleans on January 14, 1948. He played many sports, such as football, soccer, fighting, wrestling, and gymnastics. He went to college at San Diego State and played football there. He helped the Aztecs win the 1969 Pasadena Bowl. Weathers also studied theater arts at SDSU, but in 1970, he became a free agent and signed with the Oakland Raiders. He played eight NFL games as a defender over two seasons.

    After playing professional football for a while, Weathers turned his attention more to acting. He got small parts in Arthur Marks’ blaxploitation movies “Bucktown” and “Friday Foster,” as well as on TV shows like “Good Times,” “Kung Fu,” “Cannon,” and “Starsky and Hutch.”

    Weathers played Colonel Al Dillon in “Predator,” which also starred Arnold Schwarzenegger (who later became governor of California) and Jesse Ventura (who later became governor of Minnesota). Weathers led “Saturday Night Live” in 1988. Many years later, he returned to the live sketch show for a spoof segment in which he says he is running for office because he was “the Black guy in ‘Predator.'”

    Weathers refused to let Stallone use footage from earlier “Rocky” movies in “Rocky Balboa,” the sixth movie in the series, which came out in 2006. Instead, Weathers pushed for a real part in the movie, even though his character, Apollo Creed, died in “Rocky IV.” Stallone said no, so he hired a lookalike character to film fight scenes from the past. After they made up, Weathers let Stallone use his appearance in the “Creed” sequel series, in which Michael B. Jordan plays the son of Apollo Creed.

    Weathers got smaller parts in TV procedurals later in his career, and he also directed episodes of these shows. It was for the Disney+ show “The Mandalorian,” in which he played Greef Karga in nine episodes over three seasons, that he was nominated for his first Emmy. Weats took over as director for Episodes 12 and 20 of the “Star Wars” spinoff.

    Mary Ann, his ex-wife, and their two boys survived Weathers.

    You may also read this: The 7 best Carl Weathers performances

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    Sajid Ali
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