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Sylvester Stallone ‘torn up’ at death of Rocky co-star Carl Weathers

Sylvester Stallone described Carl Weathers as “an integral part” of his life after the death of his Rocky co-star aged 76.

Weathers, a former American footballer who became a Hollywood action movie and comedy star, played nemesis-turned-ally Apollo Creed in the first four Rocky movies.

Matt Luber, his manager, said Weathers died on Thursday. His family said he died “peacefully in his sleep”.

In a video tribute on Instagram, Stallone said it was “an incredibly sad day for me”, describing himself as “torn up”.

Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger
Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger both paid tribute to Carl Weathers

“Carl Weathers was such an integral part of my life, my success … I give him incredible credit,” he said. “When he walked into that room and I saw him for the first time, I saw greatness but I didn’t realise how great.

“I never could have accomplished what we did with Rocky without him. He was absolutely brilliant.

“Rest in power and keep punching.”

Weathers also starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987’s Predator and as one-handed golf pro Chubbs Peterson in the 1996 comedy Happy Gilmore opposite Adam Sandler, earning an Emmy Award nomination in 2021 for his role in Disney’s The Mandalorian. He also voiced Combat Carl in the Toy Story franchise.

Posting on X, formerly Twitter, Schwarzenegger said: “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.”

His fellow Predator co-star Jesse Ventura described Weathers was a “phenomenal talent, a true professional and a dear friend.”

Adam Sandler, who played the title role in Happy Gilmore, said Weathers was “a true great man”.

He wrote on X: “Great dad. Great actor. Great athlete. So much fun to be around always. 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. Love to his entire family and Carl will always be known as a true legend.”

Julie Bowen, who co-starred in the film, said on Instagram: “Dearest Carl, you’ll always be my Chubbs. What a glorious spirit you had. Thanks for making me smile. I hope they golf wherever you are.”

Former Mandalorian co-star Gina Carano wrote a lengthy tribute on Twitter, saying she was “flooded by all the precious memories we had together”.

The Las Vegas Raiders American football team, where Weathers played for two seasons during their time in Oakland, said he “will be missed dearly by his Raiders family”.

Basketball star Earvin Magic Johnson described him as a “truly amazing actor and entertainer”.