The world mourns the loss of the beloved “Rocky” star, Carl Weathers, who has sadly passed away at the age of 76, as confirmed by a statement from his family.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers,” expressed his family in a heartfelt statement. “He peacefully departed in his sleep on Thursday, February 1st, 2024. Carl was an extraordinary human being who lived a remarkable life. His contributions to film, television, the arts, and sports have left an indelible mark recognized worldwide and across generations. He was cherished as a brother, father, grandfather, partner, and friend.”

Carl Weathers famously portrayed Apollo Creed in the first four installments of the “Rocky” series. He also showcased his talent alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Predator” and Adam Sandler in “Happy Gilmore.” In a remarkable turn of events, Weathers earned an Emmy Award nomination in 2021 for his role in the Disney+ “Star Wars” series, “The Mandalorian.”

Weathers made his debut as the brash and undefeated heavyweight world champion in 1976’s “Rocky,” starring alongside Sylvester Stallone. He continued to shine as Creed in 1979’s “Rocky II,” 1982’s “Rocky III,” and 1985’s “Rocky IV.”

In the franchise’s fourth installment, Creed met a memorable end in the ring against the Soviet Union champion Ivan Drago, portrayed by Dolph Lundgren. Following Creed’s demise, his son, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), took the lead in his own boxing trilogy, commencing in 2015.

On Instagram, Stallone shared a heartfelt tribute to Weathers, saying, “We lost a legend yesterday. My life was forever changed for the better the day I met Carl Weathers. Rest in power and keep punching.” Stallone stood before a painting depicting a pivotal moment in their on-screen rivalry and added, “He was magic. And I was so fortunate to be part of his life. So Apollo, keep punching.”

After his breakthrough role as Creed, Weathers starred alongside Schwarzenegger in the 1987 science fiction action film “Predator.” Schwarzenegger paid homage to his late co-star in an Instagram post, emphasizing their camaraderie during the film’s production.

Weathers continued to dazzle in leading roles in action movies such as “Action Jackson” (1988) and “Hurricane Smith” (1992). His memorable portrayal of Chubbs Peterson, a former golf star, in Sandler’s comedy classic “Happy Gilmore” in 1996 remains etched in cinematic history.

He reprised his role in a cameo appearance in Sandler’s 2000 fantasy comedy movie “Little Nicky” and voiced a character in the animated Hanukkah movie “Eight Crazy Nights” in 2002.

Weathers’ extensive television credits include roles in “Street Justice,” “In the Heat of the Night,” “Tour of Duty,” “Colony,” “Chicago Justice,” and “Star vs. the Forces of Evil.” Additionally, he made cameo appearances in popular series like “Arrested Development,” “The Shield,” “E.R.,” “Psych,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” and “Magnum P.I.”

His filmography boasts a wide array of roles in films such as “Friday Foster,” “Bucktown,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Death Hunt,” “The Comebacks,” and “Toy Story 4.”

Most recently, Carl Weathers graced our screens as Greef Karga, the leader of a bounty hunter guild, in all three seasons of “The Mandalorian.” His exceptional performance earned him an Emmy Award nomination in 2021. Weathers also stepped behind the camera, directing two episodes of the series, “Chapter 12: The Siege” and “Chapter 20: The Foundling.”

Born in New Orleans on January 14, 1948, Weathers initially pursued a professional football career before venturing into acting. He played college football at San Diego State University, contributing to their victory in the 1969 Pasadena Bowl.

Although he went undrafted by the NFL, Weathers signed with the Oakland Raiders in 1970. He played a pivotal role in the Raiders’ AFC West Division title win and returned for the 1971 season before parting ways with the team.