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Home > Remembering Carl Weathers: ‘Rocky’ and ‘The Mandalorian’ Actor Dies at 76

Remembering Carl Weathers: ‘Rocky’ and ‘The Mandalorian’ Actor Dies at 76

Remembering Carl Weathers: 'Rocky' and 'The Mandalorian' Actor Dies at 76

Film and TV Star Led an Extraordinary Life

Star of film and TV screen Carl Weathers has died at the age of 76. A professional athlete before an immensely successful career both in front of and behind the camera, Weathers was an inspiration to fans worldwide. He passed peacefully in his bed, after having lived a most extraordinary life.

In a farewell tweet from Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former governor of California stated “Carl Weathers will always be a legend. An extraordinary athlete, a fantastic actor, and a great person. We couldn’t have made Predator without him. And we certainly wouldn’t have had such a wonderful time making it.”


A pro football player before becoming an actor, Weathers was a theatre major at San Diego State. Weathers was inspired by the films of Sidney Poitier as a kid. In his own words, “My first love was acting…I sat in the theater and dreamed of being an actor.” And act he did. Over a career spanning half a century, he went on to play dozens of roles in both film and TV. Perhaps his most notable role came as Apollo Creed in Rocky. He would go on to reprise the role three more times, his character being a consummate friend, inspiration, and mentor to the Italian Stallion Rocky Balboa. 

Weathers was an action star, in no small part to skill as a martial artist; he held a black belt in Shotokan karate. His unique combination of physical fitness, engaging charisma, and dramaturgical instinct ensured that no part he was cast in was ever small. Fans will lovingly remember him as Dillon in Predator (1987), Action Jackson, as well as Combat Carl in the Toy Story franchise. He even auditioned for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars. While he was not cast as the schmaltzy rogue, he would go on to check off this bucket list item by playing soldier turned leader in Greef Karga on The Mandalorian, a highlight of the show for which he earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in 2021. No stranger to sci-fi, Weathers would lend his voice talents to video games like Star Wars: Battlefront II and the Mass Effect series.

“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle… It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Carl Weathers

Remembering Carl Weathers: 'Rocky' and 'The Mandalorian' Actor Dies at 76
Carl Weathers as Dillon in ‘Predator’; image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Behind the Camera

When Weathers wasn’t busy killing aliens or winning wars on screen, he was often behind the camera. He transitioned from in front of the camera to behind it, taking his decades of experience in front of the camera and using it to inspire his crew and casts on over a dozen shows. He directed episodes across two seasons of The Mandalorian, as well as Law & Order and Chicago Med, among others, often acting as a producer on the same projects he directed according to IMDb. Per Weathers, “I’ve been fortunate. I’ve worked in a lot of things where I had those kinds of experiences with actors who were perceived as very macho guys, everybody from Lee Marvin to Charlie Bronson to Harrison Ford to Robert Shaw.” His rapport with actors, especially men, was an asset that he brought with him to set. 

In one of his most endearing and meta roles, Weathers played a fictionalized version of himself on the Emmy-winning sitcom Arrested Development. On the show, Weathers had transitioned into a new role as an acting coach with a knack for saving money. Weathers somehow managed to make the line “Baby, I had a stew goin’.” into a true laugh-out-loud moment every time he was on screen. 

“No matter how hard life gets, never lose hope. The sun always rises… The only limits in your life are the ones you create in your mind.” – Carl Weathers

A Cherished Life 

Beloved by fans and industry peers, Carl Weathers died peacefully in his home on February 2, 2024. Weathers continued the proud tradition of black actors both on and off screen, and his contributions to the industry which he loved will never be forgotten.  In a statement issued by his family: “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.”

“The path to greatness is not always easy, but it is always worth it… Dream big, work hard, stay focused, and surround yourself with positive people.” – Carl Weathers

Remembering Carl Weathers: 'Rocky' and 'The Mandalorian' Actor Dies at 76
Carl Weathers as Greef Karga in ‘The Mandalorian’: image courtesy of Disney+ and Lucasfilm

CNN News Story on Carl Weathers’ Death

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Author | Posts

Caleb aims to write high-concept genre pieces that focus on broken families. His works have been recognized by the Nicholl's Fellowship, the ISA, Screencraft, Launchpad, and Nickelodeon.When not writing Caleb enjoys video games and tabletop RPGs, camping, and is a connoisseur of fine bourbon.

Cailen Fienemann is a current student at Le Moyne College pursuing her BA in English and Communications with a film studies minor and a creative writing concentration.  Though uncertain about her career end-goals, any job that allows her to write is a cherished one indeed.