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Carl Weathers, who brought a heavyweight's presence to every role he played, dies at 76

From the Rocky franchise to The Mandalorian, Weathers added a certain gravitas to every role he played

Carl Weathers in The Mandalorian
Image credit: Disney+

There are a lot of memorable actors from the big movies of the 1970s and '80s, but perhaps few who held the same magnetism as Carl Weathers, who died on Tuesday, his family have confirmed.

A former professional footballer, Weathers of course memorably starred as the great titan Apollo Creed in Sylvester Stallone's Rocky movies, bringing a throughline of deeper emotion to what very well could have been a one-note character. Creed's complicated relationship with Stallone's title character was one of the richest parts of the movie series, with the character going on to inspire Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler's revival of the property in the Creed series - a tribute to Weathers' contribution to the original movies.

Two years after his final appearance as Apollo Creed, Weathers starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987's Predator as Colonel Al Dillon - cementing himself as an action movie icon forever - before going on to appear in a multitude of television shows and movies, including The Shield, Arrested Development, and Toy Story 4. (He was the voice of Combat Carl, fittingly.)

Most recently, Weathers has been starring in the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian. His recurring role as Greef Karga in that series thankfully brought him back into my (and likely many fans') attention. He breathed a hefty amount of gravitas and fun energy into the series, and his relationship with Din Djarin as well as with little Grogu made for some of the best bits of the show. For his performance, Weathers was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2021.

It is certainly sad to see such an icon leave us so soon, especially just as he found his way back into so many people's hearts.

Weathers is survived by his ex wife and their two sons.

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