Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa.

I was saddened to learn about the passing of Carl Weathers last week. The ex-football player-turned actor died “peacefully,” according to his family, in his sleep at the age of 76.

Mr. Weathers played linebacker for Don Coryell at San Diego State University in the late ’60s, where he was also a theater major. In 1970-71 he played in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders. Ultimately, he turned to his greater love: acting. He had a number of bit roles on many popular TV shows of the 1970s, including “The Six Million Dollar Man” and “Starsky and Hutch.”

But his most iconic role came about in 1976, when he played heavyweight boxing champion Apollo Creed in the classic film, Rocky. He would go on to do the same role alongside Sylvester Stallone in the first four films of the long-running series.

CIA wonk Al Dillon helps “Dutch” hunt down the deadly Predator.

Many roles followed, including my personal favorite, Colonel Al Dillon, a CIA officer, in Predator (1987), co-starring alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. His popularity spanned generations, including the younger set, who knew him as Greef Karga, the head of the Bounty Hunters Guild in the Star Wars spinoff, “The Mandalorian” (2019-2023).

RIP Carl Weathers. You will be missed.

Carl Weathers’ final role in “The Mandalorian.”



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