Dana White, Sylvester Stallone and more pay tribute to the “great” Carl Weathers

Legendary actor Carl Weathers is widely recognized for his iconic portrayal of Apollo Creed in the Rocky franchise. He peacefully passed away in his sleep on Thursday morning, as confirmed by his grieving family.

Carl Weathers was more than just a Hollywood star. He was an exceptional human being who carved an extraordinary life path.

The family expressed their sentiments via a statement by TMZ. It read: “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.”

Before gracing the silver screen, Carl Weathers initially rose to national prominence as a collegiate football player. His athleticism transcended into a professional career with notable stints with the Oakland Raiders in the NFL and the BC Lions in the Canadian Football League.

In 1974, he made a decision to retire from professional football. He then went on to pursue a new career in acting.

This career transition proved to be a game-changer as Weathers swiftly secured roles in popular shows such as ‘The Six Million Dollar Man,’ ‘Starsky & Hutch,’ and ‘Good Times.’ His breakthrough came with the portrayal of Apollo Creed in the blockbuster series ‘Rocky,’ starring alongside Sylvester Stallone. Weathers played a significant role in the first three movies of the six-part Rocky franchise.

Apart from his iconic role as Apollo Creed, Carl Weathers further solidified his place in Hollywood with memorable performances in ‘The Predator’ and ‘Happy Gilmore.’ Notably, he graced the Star Wars universe with his presence in the hit series ‘The Mandalorian.’

The news of Carl Weathers’ passing led to an outpouring of tributes from fans, friends, and fellow celebrities across various social media platforms. The entertainment industry mourns the loss of a true luminary.

Sylvester Stallone talked about Weathers and paid tribute to him on his Instagram. He posted a video along with the caption: “We lost a legend yesterday. My life was forever changed for the better the day I met Carl Weathers. Rest in power and keeping punching.”

Dana White paid tribute to Weathers in his Instagram story.

Hollywood icon Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote on twitter: “Carl Weathers will always be a legend. An extraordinary athlete, a fantastic actor, and a great person. We couldn’t have made Predator without him. And we certainly wouldn’t have had such a wonderful time making it.”

YouTuber turned boxer Jake Paul also wrote on Twitter: “There would be no Rocky Balboa without Apollo Creed. Rest in peace Mr. Weathers.”

Carl Weathers leaves behind his ex-wife Mary Ann and their two sons, Matthew and Jason. In this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Weathers family.