Carl died on Thursday at the age of 76 (Picture: Paul Drinkwater/ NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Adam Sandler have led tributes Carl Weathers, following his death at 76.
The actor, who starred in Rocky, Predator, Happy Gilmore and the Mandalorian, died on Thursday.
His family confirmed the sad news in a statement, explaining that he died ‘peacefully in his sleep’.
Taking to Instagram, Schwarzenegger – who starred in Predator beside the late star – posted a black-and-white photo from the set of the 1987 classic.
‘Carl Weathers will always be a legend. An extraordinary athlete, a fantastic actor, and a great person,’ he wrote beside the upload.
‘We couldn’t have made Predator without him. And we certainly wouldn’t have had such a wonderful time making it.
Carl Weathers and Arnold Schwarzenegger starred on Predator together (Picture: Getty)
‘Every minute with him – on set and off – was pure joy. He was the type of friend who pushes you to be your best just to keep up with him.
‘I’ll miss him, and my thoughts are with his family.’
Adam Sandler, who shared the screen with Weathers in Happy Gilmore and Little Nicky, offered his condolences on Twitter, with a selection of photos.
‘A true great man. Great dad. Great actor. Great athlete. So much fun to be around always,’ he wrote. ‘Smart as hell. Loyal as hell. Funny as hell. Loved his sons more than anything. What a guy!!
Happy Gilmore actor Adam Sandler offered his condolences (Picture: Universal)
‘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.’
News of the late star’s death was made public earlier today, with a statement from his family via Deadline.
‘We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers,’ it read. ‘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.’
His cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
He famously played Apollo Creed in the action franchise (Picture: Rex)
Weathers turned his attention to acting after retiring from American football in 1974.
Two years later, he was catapulted to fame thanks to his role as Apollo Creed, Rocky Balboa’s nemesis, in the first four Rocky films.
The late star appeared opposite Stallone, Burt Young, Talia Shire and Tony Burton in the first flick, and instantly became a firm fan favorite.
He reprised his part in the following three outings – but his character was controversially killed off in 1985’s Rocky IV.
Carl appeared in a string of films and TV shows before his death (Picture: Getty)
After leaving Apollo behind, he switched things up with his efforts in sci-fi classic Predator, in 1987.
Weathers went on to appear in a string of big screen hits, including Think Like A Man Too, Eight Crazy Nights and Toy Story 4.
He was also a staple of the small screen, popping up in Arrested Development, Tour of Duty, Chicago Justice and Colony among many othes.
One of his last screen credits came as Greef Karga in the Mandalorian, beside Pedro Pascal, Amy Sedaris, Giancarlo Esposito and Omid Abtahi.
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