In Loving Memory: Carl Weathers


Carl Weathers passed away on February 2 at the age of 76. He was a former NFL linebacker and an actor known for his role as Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” franchise.

Weathers was a versatile actor who played severe dramatic roles and comedic sitcoms. Still, he was best known for portraying the arrogant and undefeated heavyweight world champion, Creed, in the movie “Rocky” (1976). The movie unexpectedly became a massive success, won the Oscar for Best Picture, and catapulted both actors to stardom.

The Creed character appeared in the first four “Rocky” movies, dying in “Rocky IV” (1984) while going toe-to-toe with the hulking, steroid-using Soviet Ivan Drago, played by Dolph Lundgren. Before he entered the ring, James Brown sang “Living in America” with showgirls, and Creed popped up on a balcony in a Star-Spangled Banner-shorts-and-waistcoat combo and an Uncle Sam hat, dancing and taunting Drago.

Mr. Weathers had a key supporting role opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Predator” (1987). They starred as a taunting Detroit cop in “Action Jackson” (1988), where he trains his flamethrower on a lousy guy and asks, “How do you like your ribs?” before broiling him.

Mr. Weathers introduced himself to another generation of viewers when he portrayed himself as an opportunistic and extremely thrifty actor who becomes involved with the dysfunctional clan at the heart of the sitcom “Arrested Development,” making a handful of guest appearances in 2004 and 2013.

Most recently, Mr. Weathers starred as High Magistrate Greef Karga in the Disney Plus hit “The Mandalorian,” appearing in all three seasons.

Carl Weathers was born in New Orleans on Jan. 14, 1948, and from childhood, had dueling interests in athletics and acting. While majoring in drama, he played football on an athletic scholarship at San Diego State College (now University). He had a brief pro football career with the Oakland Raiders and the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League. He finished his college degree in 1974 at San Francisco State University.

Among later roles, he was a golf pro in the 1996 comedy “Happy Gilmore” opposite Adam Sandler, was chief of police for the final two seasons (1993-95) of the police and crime drama “In the Heat of the Night,” and starred in Dick Wolf’s short-lived TV series “Chicago Justice” in 2017.

Mr. Weathers had marriages to Mary Ann Castle, Rhona Unsell, and Jennifer Peterson, but they ended in divorce. Two sons survive him from his first marriage.