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Carl Weathers dies aged 76

Rocky actor Carl Weathers has died at the age of 76.

The actor, who was best known for playing Apollo Creed in the Rocky franchise, died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles on Thursday 1 February.

"We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers," his family said in a statement. "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."

Weathers played boxer Apollo Creed opposite Sylvester Stallone in four Rocky films, from the 1976 original to 1985's Rocky IV.

He also starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987's Predator, played the title character in 1988's Action Jackson, voiced Combat Carl in 2019's Toy Story 4, and co-starred with Adam Sandler in the 1996 golf comedy Happy Gilmore.

In television, Weathers was well known for portraying Greef Karga on the Star Wars series The Mandalorian, for which he was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. He also played a fictionalised version of himself in Arrested Development and appeared in shows such as Street Justice, Chicago Justice and The Shield.

Weathers is survived by his ex-wife, Mary Ann, and their two sons.