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Rocky and The Mandalorian star Carl Weathers dies

 Carl Weathers.
Carl Weathers.

Carl Weathers has passed away at age 76.

"We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers," his family said in a statement. “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."

Weathers earned a Bachelor's degree in Theater Arts from San Diego State University while playing college football. Before becoming an actor, Weathers was a linebacker for the Oakland Raiders in the NFL and the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League. He retired from football in 1974 to pursue an acting career. His career took off after playing Apollo Creed in Rocky, and he would go on to reprise the role in three more sequels before starring in action and sci-fi films such as Death Hunt, Predator, and Action Jackson.

Weathers would later collaborate with Adam Sandler in three Happy Madison comedies: Happy Gilmore, Little Nicky, and Eight Crazy Nights; and would play a fictionalized version of himself on Arrest Development. Most recently, he played Greef Karga for 10 episodes of The Mandalorian, and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. Throughout his career, Weathers supported and contributed to charities for cancer and lupus research. He returned to San Diego State University last year to talk to students about pursuing a career in performing arts.