“An exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life . . . “
Star Wars and Toy Story fans and Hollywood are mourning the loss of a beloved actor whose career spanned almost 50 years and whose roles became icons in the film industry.
Actor Carl Weathers, who starred as Apollo Creed in the first four films of the Rocky franchise, died on Thursday morning in his sleep, per an announcement from his family. He was 76 years old.
“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 1, 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.”
Some of Weathers’ most memorable roles included Apollo Creed in the Rocky films, Chubbs Peterson, the golf mentor and coach to Adam Sandler’s Happy Gilmore in the film of the same name, and Al Dillon in Predator (1987).
Chubbs’ backstory includes an alligator attack, during which the professional golfer lost his hand and had it replaced with a wooden hand. As such, he had to step away from his professional golf tour. The wooden replacement hand was at the center of Adam Sandler’s comedic prowess in scenes with Weathers during the film.
Per Deadline, Weathers was hurt while filming a stunt for Happy Gilmore:
[Weathers] was badly injured while filming a fall stunt during the Happy Gilmore shoot, leading to years of terrible pain. “I didn’t know it until years later, but I fractured two vertebrae, and osteophytes grew out and connected, and it did a kind of self-fuse in a really bad place,” he told GQ in a 2020 interview. “There were three or four years there where I was just in excruciating pain.”
Aside from his comedic role in the film, Weathers proved he could sing at the end of Happy Gilmore when he channeled his inner Carpenters, singing “We’ve Only Just Begun” in Heaven.
The famous actor also lent his trademark voice to the Combat Carl character in the 2013 made-for-television Toy Story special Toy Story of Terror and in 2019’s Toy Story 4.
Weathers also starred opposite the bounty hunter Din Djarin, played by actor Pedro Pascal, as the High Magistrate Greef Karga, the head of the Bounty Hunters Guild in the Star Wars-inspired series for Disney+, The Mandalorian.
Weathers appeared in nine episodes of the series’ first three seasons, earning an Emmy nomination in 2021. He went on to direct two episodes in Season 2 and Season 3 of the Star Wars spinoff series.
Weathers will be greatly missed by his fans, family, and friends. Our sympathy, thoughts, and prayers are with all of those affected by his loss during this difficult time.
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