Carl Weathers, the actor who starred in the Rocky franchise, Predator, and The Mandalorian, died on Feb. 1, according to Variety. He was 76.
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While known mostly for his acting career, Weathers had a career in football. He spent most of his college days at San Diego State University under Don Coryell, playing defensive end. Weathers won the 1969 Pasadena Bowl with the Aztecs, finishing an 11-0 season as the No. 18 team in the country.
Weathers went undrafted but signed with the Oakland Raiders in 1970. He converted to linebacker and later strong safety, playing eight total games across two seasons. Weathers played in the Raiders’ first-ever AFC Championship appearance during the 1970 season.
After his stint in the NFL, Weathers played in the Canadian Football League as a member of the BC Lions, playing in 18 games over three seasons.
“When I found football, it was a completely different outlet,” Weathers told the Detroit News in 2023. “It was more about the physicality, although one does feed the other. You needed some smarts because there were playbooks to study and film to study, to learn about the opposition on any given week.”
During the offseasons, Weathers worked as an extra and earned a bachelor’s degree in drama from San Diego State in 1974. He went on to star in some iconic roles in sports movie history. Weathers’ breakthrough role was Apollo Creed, the rival-turned-mentor in Rocky through Rocky IV. He later appeared as golf mentor Chubbs in the Adam Sandler comedy Happy Gilmore, and a fictionalized version of himself in Arrested Development.