On February 1st, 2024, Carl Weathers, aka “Apollo Creed,” died at the age of 76. He apparently died peacefully in his sleep. Unfortunately, these days, that seems to be a euphemism for something more sinister.
Weathers played one of the most iconic characters in the best boxing movies of all time. He was a tremendous actor who convincingly captured much of Mohamed Ali’s flare, confidence, wit, and sheer athleticism on camera, so much so that Ali accused Sylvester Stallone of “stealing his script.” With lines like “be a thinker, not a stinker,” who could hardly blame him?
He was a natural athlete who was well suited to play the characters of Apollo Creed in the Rocky series and Al Dillon in the movie Predator. It’s no surprise that he played in both the National Football League and the Canadian Football League before he entered acting full-time.
The character of Apollo Creed had such an impact on the Rocky universe that three movies under the name Creed, portrayed by his illegitimate son, played by Michael B. Jordan, had quite a success (at least the first two).
At one point, Sly lamented that he killed off Apollo from the Rocky universe, thinking the series would lose momentum without such a tragic loss.
When I rewatch Rocky IV, it will sadly have real-life significance now.
His line from Rocky III will always stick with me: “There is no tomorrow.”
His longtime friend and colleague, Sly, had some emotional words to share.
So never forget to live life to the fullest and not lose sight of the things that matter and the true purpose and meaning of life. May we always give thanks to the One who is the author of all life and existence, who crafted you and me, and the likes of Carl Weathers, who brought so many of us joy over the years.
Apollo, keep punchin’ with Mickey and Paulie; I’m sure they have greeted you in the ring in heaven.