The demise of 76-year-old Carl Weathers, renowned for portraying Apollo Creed in the Rocky film series, has been reported.

American actor Carl Weathers, who portrayed the character of boxer Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” franchise, has passed away, as announced by his family on Friday. He was 76 years old.

Weathers, known for his role in the 1987 film “Predator” alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, was recently seen on the small screen in the “Star Wars” spin-off series “The Mandalorian,” where he received an Emmy nomination for his performance.

According to the statement released by his family, “The announcement of Carl Weathers’ passing is causing us deep sorrow. Carl was an extraordinary human who lived an exceptional life. Through his contributions to film, television, art, and sports, he left an indelible mark and earned recognition worldwide across generations.”

No cause of death was mentioned in the statement, but it was noted that he peacefully passed away in his sleep on Thursday.

Weathers had a career spanning five decades, with over 75 appearances in films and TV. He began in the 1970s with roles in Blaxploitation films. Young audiences appreciated his role in the Disney+ hit “The Mandalorian,” where he played Greef Karga, the leader of the Bounty Hunters’ Guild.

He also lent his voice to another beloved franchise, playing Combat Carl in the 2019 film “Toy Story 4.”

His portrayal as a golf coach in “Happy Gilmore” earned him praise, depicting a character who starts coaching Adam Sandler’s character after losing his hand to an alligator.

But it is his iconic role as Apollo Creed, the tough and determined opponent to Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa, for which he will be most remembered. The 1976 film “Rocky” and its sequels, along with the “Creed” spin-off franchise, showcased brutal and choreographed boxing moments, creating a cinematic legacy that resonates even today.

Weathers played Apollo Creed again in “Rocky II” (1979), “Rocky III” (1982), and “Rocky IV” (1985), where his character faced a fatal match against a Russian heavyweight played by Dolph Lundgren.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, his co-star from “Predator,” called him an extraordinary athlete, actor, and great human being, expressing that they couldn’t have made “Predator” without him.

Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, another co-star from “Predator,” stated that the world has lost an icon.

Expressions of admiration and fond memories were also shared by fellow actors and colleagues on social media, emphasizing Carl Weathers’ greatness as a father, actor, and athlete.

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