Carl Weathers is an American actor best known for his work in the 'Rocky' film series. He is also a former professional footballer and has played several games for the NFL (National Football League) and the CFL (Canadian Football League). Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, he began his acting career doing roles in films such as 'Friday Foster' and 'Bucktown'. Shortly after, he played his career’s most significant role in the American sports drama film 'Rocky'. He earned tremendous popularity and appreciation for his role of Apollo Creed, a tough, undisputed boxing champion. The film was a huge success commercially and won three Oscars. After appearing in a few other films, Weathers reprised his role of Apollo Creed in ‘Rocky II’. This film was a commercial success too though it didn't do as well as its prequel. Weathers continued portraying Creed in the next two films of the series. Weathers has played significant roles in several other films as well. He played a main role in the sci-fi horror film 'Predator'. He was latest seen in the sci-fi action film 'American Warships'. He is also known for his work on TV; he played a main role in the American legal drama television series 'Chicago Justice'.
Childhood & Early Life
Carl Weathers was born on 14th January 1948 in New Orleans, Louisiana. His father worked as a day laborer.
He was active in sports from an early age. He attended St. Augustine High School on an athletic scholarship. During his high school days he was involved with various sports such as football, judo, and wrestling. He graduated in 1966. Later he got a BA in Drama from San Francisco State University.
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In 1975, Carl Weathers played a minor role in his friend Arthur Marks' film 'Bucktown'. The same year, he played a main role in the film 'Friday Foster'. Like the previous film, it was directed and produced by his friend Arthur Mark.
Weathers came to popularity in 1976 after his role in the American sports drama film 'Rocky'. Directed by John G. Avildsen, the film tells the story of Rocky Balboa, a small time club fighter, who gets a shot at the world heavyweight championship. Weathers played the role of Apollo Creed, an undisputed boxing champion who fights Balboa to defend his world Championship. The film was a huge success commercially and won three Oscars.
After appearing in a few other films including 'Semi-Tough' (1977) and 'The Bermuda Depths' (1978), he reprised his role of Apollo Creed in ‘Rocky II’ in 1979. The film was a commercial success and became one of the highest grossing films of the year.
He continued playing the role of Apollo Creed in ‘Rocky III’ (1982) and 'Rocky IV' (1985). Both the films did well commercially and gained huge popularity worldwide. He next appeared in the sci-fi horror action film 'Predator' in a main role, playing Colonel Al Dillon. The film was a commercial success.
Weathers played leading roles as well as supporting roles in several films in the next two decades, some of them being 'Hurricane Smith' (1992), 'Happy Gilmore' (1996), 'Alien Siege' (2005) and 'The Comebacks' (2007). He was latest seen in the American sci-fi action film ‘American Warships’ (2012).
Throughout his career, he has also played some roles in numerous TV shows. He played the lead role in 'Street Justice', an action crime drama series which aired from 1991 to 1993. His latest work on television was in the American legal crime drama 'Chicago Justice', where he played a main role. The series aired from March 2017 to May 2017.
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Carl Weathers’ role in the Oscar-winning sports drama film ‘Rocky’ can be regarded as the most significant work in his career. Directed by John G. Avildsen, the film is about the story of Rocky Balboa, who is portrayed by Sylvester Stallone. The movie shows how Rocky—a small-time club fighter—manages to get a shot at the world heavyweight championship and fight Apollo Creed, who is portrayed by Weathers. The film was a huge success commercially, grossing $225 million on a mere budget of $1 million.
He reprised his role of Apollo Creed in the sports drama film ‘Rocky II’, the sequel to ‘Rocky’. Directed by Sylvester Stallone, the film shows Rocky Balboa finally becoming the World Champion after successfully defeating Creed in a rematch. The film was a commercial success and became one of the highest grossing films of the year.
He played a significant role in the American sports comedy film ‘Happy Gilmore’. Directed by Dennis Dugan, the story follows an unsuccessful ice hockey player who discovers his newfound talent in golf. The film was a commercial success, grossing more than $40 million on a budget of $12 million. It was nominated for multiple awards, out of which it won the ‘MTV Movie Award’.
Carl Weathers played the lead role in the crime drama TV series ‘Street Justice’. The story revolved around the adventures of a police detective and a martial arts expert. The show started airing from September 1991 in syndication. It was however cancelled in May 1993 after just two seasons.
Awards & Achievements
For his voice role in the TV special ‘Toy Story of Terror’, Carl Weathers received the ‘Behind the Voice Actor Award’ for ‘Best Male Vocal Performance’ in 2014.
Carl Weathers has been married three times. He first married Mary Ann Castle in 1973. They had two children and divorced after ten years of marriage.
He later marred Rhona Usneel in 1984. However, his marriage too resulted in a divorce.
In 2007, he married Jennifer Peterson. They divorced after two years.