Carl Weathers Remembered by ‘Rocky’ Costar Sylvester Stallone and More: ‘I Saw Greatness, but I Didn’t Realize How Great’

Others who shared memories include Adam Sandler, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura and Pedro Pascal

Carl Weathers
Carl Weathers (Photo: Jeff Spicer / Getty Images)

Friends, colleagues and fans of Carl Weathers have taken to social media to remember the actor and director. He died in his sleep on Thursday at age 76.

Sylvester Stallone shared an emotional video on Instagram following Weathers’ death.

“Today is an incredibly sad day for me,” Stallone said. “I mean, I’m so torn up, I can’t even tell you. I’m just trying to hold it in, because Carl Weathers was such an integral part of my life, my success, everything about it.

“I give him incredible credit and kudos, because when he walked into that room and I saw him for the first time, I saw greatness, but I didn’t realize how great. I never could have accomplished what we did with ‘Rocky’ without him.

“He was absolutely brilliant. His voice, his size, his power, his athletic ability — but more importantly, his heart, his soul. It’s a horrible loss.”

During the video, Stallone stood in front of an impressionistic painting of him with Weathers as Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed facing off in the boxing ring.

“And I’m standing here in front of this painting,” Stallone continued, “because it was probably the last moment we were ever in the ring together, and I’ll never forget it. He was magic and I was so fortunate to be part of his life.”

Stallone closed the video by saying, “So Apollo — keep punching.”

Earlier, one of the first to react to Weathers’ passing was longtime friend and costar Adam Sandler, who cast Weathers in his golf comedy “Happy Gilmore” in 1996.

“A true great man. Great dad. Great actor. Great athlete. So much fun to be around always. Smart as hell,” Sandler wrote in an Instagram post on Friday. “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.”

Remembrances were also shared by colleagues including “Predator” costars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura.

Jon Favreau, Robert Rodriguez and Pedro Pascal shared their condolences for their “Mandalorian” colleague.

“I am heartbroken by this devastating loss,” “Mandalorian” creator Favreau said in a statement to “He was a hero from my childhood who I was lucky enough to meet and then had the amazing good fortune to work with. He had the energy and curiosity of a young man paired with the wisdom that his rich life and career afforded him. My heart goes out to his family and countless admirers.”

“Everyone at Amazon MGM Studios is devastated by the loss of the extraordinary Carl Weathers,” the studio said in a statement. “Almost 50 years ago, he brought to life one of the most iconic characters to grace the screen, Apollo Creed — a character who will live on in our cinematic lives. Carl went on to build an inspiring career defined by a true Apollo Creed-like passion. That drive — accompanied by his unbelievable kindness and big heart– is a legacy that will live on in our industry and beyond for years to come. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Carl’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

Others who shared their thoughts included Amin Joseph and Dane Cook.

Weathers’ fans and followers also expressed their thoughts on his passing, sharing their favorite TV and film moments of him.

“RIP to Carl Weathers. His cameo (as himself) in ‘Arrested Development’ was peak comedy,” an X user wrote.

“Carl Weathers was a central figure in my movie geek formation,” wrote journalist Eric Vespe. “He had the swagger, the charisma, the humor, and the tenderness to play any sort of role and I have to say his giddy excitement at being in new Star Wars stuff was so infectious. He left behind a hell of a legacy.”

The official X accounts for various film-related accounts also dedicated tweets to Weathers.

The X account for DiscussingFilm made a post with a video of Weathers’ iconic moment with his costar Sylvester Stallone in “Rocky.”

The Directors Guild of America, on which Weathers served prominent roles as cochair of the PAC Leadership Council, on the Western Directors Council, an alternate to the National Board and more, released a statement Friday afternoon, remembering the actor as a “great hero.”

“The world may have seen Carl as an iconic actor, but here at the DGA we knew him as an accomplished television director on series like ‘The Mandalorian,’ ‘Chicago Med’ and ‘Law & Order,’ but more importantly to us, as an exceptionally dedicated leader of the Guild for the past 20 years, always seeking to improve the lives of his fellow members,” guild president Lesli Linka Glatter said. “His service to the DGA was as broad and as deep as his wonderful booming voice … Carl always found ways to give back and participate, while showing grace and kindness to every person he encountered. Though his passing leaves a void, Carl’s legacy lives on through the talent he nurtured and the lives he brightened. We are grieving this tremendous loss alongside his family and friends, as we celebrate Carl’s outstanding humanity, compassion and heart. Carl’s kindness and wisdom will be incredibly missed, and we are deeply saddened because he touched so many lives and meant so much to us here at the Guild.”

In a statement to TheWrap sent on Friday, a representative for Weathers confirmed the news of his death.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers,” his family said in a statement. “He died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, February 1st, 2024. … 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.”

The multi-faceted actor is best known for his roles in “Rocky,” “The Mandalorian,” “Predator,” “Action Jackson” and “Happy Gilmore.”


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