'Rocky' Star Dies at 76

Carl Weathers

Carl Weathers, known for portraying boxer Apollo Creed opposite Sylvester Stallone in the Rocky films, in addition to several other notable roles, has passed away. The actor was 76 years old.

The unfortunate news was announced by the Hollywood star's family on Friday, Feb. 2, in a statement, where they confirmed that he "died peacefully in his sleep," although a potential cause of death was not mentioned.

"We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers," the note read, adding, "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 was also known for costarring in 1987's Predator alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, and most recentlyStar Wars series The Mandalorian, in which he earned an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Greef Karga.

He also led 1988's Action Jackson, and starred in comedic roles in the 1996 golf comedy Happy Gilmore with Adam Sandler, plus as a version of himself on FOX sitcom, Arrested Development.

Sandler shared a loving tribute to his former costar, who was a New Orleans native, hailing him as a "true legend."

"A true great man. Great dad. Great actor. Great athlete. So much fun to be around always," the Waterboy actor wrote on Instagram Friday, following the news of Weathers' passing.

His note continued: "Smart as hell. Loyal as hell. Funny as hell. Loved his sons more than anything. What a guy!! Everyone loved him. My wife and I had the best times with him every time we saw him," before wrapping up, "Love to his entire family and Carl will always be known as a true legend."

Acting aside, Weathers was a former NFL player. Though undrafted, the linebacker turned safety signed with the Oakland Raiders in 1970 and participated in the franchise's first-ever AFC Championship Game during that season.

The star is survived by his ex-wife Mary Ann and their two sons.

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