US actor Carl Weathers, best known for Rocky, Predator, The Mandalorian and Arrested Development, has died, aged 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 turned to acting after professional football, landing small roles in Bucktown, Friday Foster, Good Times, Kung Fu, Cannon, S.W.A.T., The Six Million Dollar Man and Starsky & Hutch.
He starred as Apollo Creed in the first four Rocky films opposite Sylvester Stallone, as Colonel Al Dillon in 1987’s Predator alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, and had a memorable role in Adam Sandler’s Happy Gilmore. He voiced Combat Carl in Toy Story 4 and featured in films Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Force 10 from Navarone, Death Hunt and The Comebacks.
In his later career, Weathers landed roles in TV procedurals, and directed episodes. He earned his first Emmy nomination in 2021 for The Mandalorian, in which he played Greef Karga in nine episodes across three seasons.
He played a fictionalised version of himself in a recurring role on Arrested Development. His other credits include Street Justice, Colony, The Shield, Chicago Justice and Brothers.
He also appeared as Police Chief Hampton Forbes in more than two dozen episodes of the 1989-95 TV series In the Heat of the Night starring Carroll O’Connor and Howard Rollins.
He also directed Chicago Med, FBI, Law & Order, The Last O.G., Hawaii Five-O, For the People, 18 Wheels of Justice, Strong Medicine and Pensacola: Wings of Gold.