Carl Weathers, 'Rocky' Star, Cause of Death Unveiled at 76

Iconic journey from sports to cinema: Carl Weathers' story.

by Nouman Rasool
Carl Weathers, 'Rocky' Star, Cause of Death Unveiled at 76
© Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In what can only be described as a rather somber entertainment update, it has been revealed that days after the passing of 'Rocky' icon Carl Weathers, the cause of his death has been made public. He has died of "atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease," a term that shows long-term heart disease.

The revelation, confirmed through his death certificate and reported on February 9 by The Blast, marks the end of a celebrated journey for the actor who died in his Venice, California home at 76 on February 2. Weathers' family confirmed the his death in his sleep on February 2, recounting his life's extraordinary journey and the legacy he left behind.

"Carl was an exceptional human being," Weathers' family said to Deadline. Beloved across generations, Weathers will be remembered and celebrated as the sort of larger-than-life personality whose career was a tapestry of roles that touched the lives of the people who watched, interacted with, and knew him.

From Gridiron to Stardom

Long before Weathers became the focus of audiences around the world, the first steps of his career led him far from the beaten path, all the way from professional football onto the silver screen in the '70s.

His first appearances in 'Bucktown' and 'Friday Foster' finally prepared the ground for his breakthrough next to Sylvester Stallone in 1976's 'Rocky' Weathers' turn as Apollo Creed not only brought him out as a major talent but also found him reprising this benchmark role in the next three sequels.

Sylvester Stallone, 77, was among those who paid tribute to his late co-star. He had posted a touching video on Instagram on February 2, with the caption reading, "Carl Weathers was such an important part of my life, my success, everything about it." He praised Weathers for being smart, his athletic skills and in fact, for having what mattered the most—heart and soul.

"We lost a legend yesterday," added a fact of life for Stallone, knowing the big impact Weathers had on his life and career. Weathers was not only remembered for his contribution to the "Rocky" saga, but he also starred in "Predator", "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "Death Hunt", and "The Comebacks".

His talent remains in the air for the last years, as in 2021 Boesch was again nominated for an Emmy—this time as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his role in 'The Mandalorian' The departure of Carl Weathers paves the end of an era, but he leaves a lasting imprint on the entertainment industry that will serve to inspire and enthrall generations to come.