THE MANDALORIAN, PREDATOR, And ROCKY Icon Carl Weathers Has Died Aged 76

Unfortunately, we’ve learned that Carl Weathers, the iconic actor who is best known for his roles in Rocky and Predator, has passed away at 76. As we first reported on SFFGazette.com, his family released a statement last night confirming he died on Thursday. 

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers,” it reads. “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.”

Many of you will, of course, know Weathers best for his standout work as the enigmatic Greef Karga in The Mandalorian. The actor appeared in ten episodes across the show’s first three seasons and even stepped behind the camera to direct “Chapter 12: The Siege” and “Chapter 20: The Foundling,” both of which received glowing reviews. 

We’d expected and hoped to see him return in the Star Wars TV show’s rumoured fourth season and almost certainly in The Mandalorian & Grogu movie heading to theaters a few years from now. 

Weathers was born on January 14, 1948, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Before pursuing a career in acting, he played college football at San Diego State University and served as a linebacker in the NFL, repping the Oakland Raiders in 1970 and later the Canadian Football League’s BC Lions.

Weathers transitioned to acting in the 1970s, with a breakthrough role as Apollo Creed in 1976’s Rocky, opposite Sylvester Stallone. He returned in several sequels and later gained recognition for his role as Dillon in the 1987 film Predator, alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In addition to his film career, Weathers has appeared in numerous television shows, including Arrested Development and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He also directed episodes of Hawaii Five-0 and Chicago Med.

“I love directing. It’s my passion,” he said of his work on The Mandalorian in a 2023 interview. “This show gives you so much opportunity to deal with all these different characters. Even though they’re different episodes, it’s not like typical episodic television – it’s not a whodunnit, it’s not a dark comedy, it’s not a procedural.”

“It’s so many different things, and it’s action-adventure on top of that. As a director, you get a chance to exercise your talent, and also your ability to deliver in those different areas.”

Our thoughts go out to his family; Hollywood has lost a true great.