February 22, 2024

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Rocky Apollo Creed, Star Wars, Predator actor was 76 years old

Rocky Apollo Creed, Star Wars, Predator actor was 76 years old

Carl Weathers, who played Apollo Creed in the first four “Rocky” films opposite Sylvester Stallone, died Thursday, his manager Matt Loper confirmed. diverse. He was 76 years old.

Withers also starred in the 1987 film “Predator” and had a memorable role in Adam Sandler's “Happy Gilmore.” He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his work on the “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian.”

He voiced Combat Carl in “Toy Story 4” and played a fictionalized version of himself in a recurring role in “Arrested Development.” His other credits include the television series “Street Justice,” “Colony,” “The Shield,” “Chicago Justice,” and “Brothers,” and the films “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Death Hunt,” and “The Comebacks.” “.

After working with Sandler in the 1996 golf comedy “Happy Gilmore,” Withers briefly reprized his role in “Little Nicky” and voiced a character in Sandler's animated Hanukkah comedy “Eight Crazy Nights.”

Withers was born on January 14, 1948, in New Orleans, and played a variety of sports including boxing, football, soccer, wrestling, and gymnastics. He played college football at San Diego State University and helped the Aztecs win the Pasadena Bowl in 1969. While at SDSU, Weathers also earned a degree in theater arts, but in 1970 he signed with the Oakland Raiders as a free agent, and played in eight Games in the NFL as a linebacker during two seasons.

After his stint in professional football, Withers turned more seriously to acting, landing small roles in Arthur Marx's blaxploitation films “Bucktown” and “Friday Foster,” as well as television series including “Good Times,” “Kung Fu”, and “Cannon”. “And Starsky and Hutch.”

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In Predator, Withers played Colonel Al Dillon alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, who later became governor of California, and Jesse Ventura, who became governor of Minnesota. In 1988, the weather Hosted “Saturday Night Live” Many years later, he returned to the live show to present a satirical segment in which he announced his candidacy for political office on the basis that he was “the black guy in the movie ‘Predator’.”

When Stallone asked Withers for permission to use footage from the previous “Rocky” films for the sixth film in the series, 2006's “Rocky Balboa,” Withers refused and lobbied for an actual part in the film, despite the death of his character, Apollo Creed, in 2006. “Rocky IV.” Stallone said no and hired a similar actor to film flashback-type fight scenes. The couple reconciled, and Withers later allowed Stallone to use his image in the “Creed” sequel series, in which Michael B. Jordan plays Apollo Creed's son.

In his later career, Withers landed smaller roles in television procedurals, of which he directed episodes as well. He received his first Emmy nomination in 2021 for the Disney+ series “The Mandalorian,” in which he played Greef Karga in nine episodes over three seasons. Withers stepped into the director's chair for Episodes 12 and 20 of the “Star Wars” franchise.

Withers is survived by his ex-wife, Mary Ann, and their two sons.