Carl Weathers cause of death revealed: “Rocky” and “Predator” star died at 76

Hollywood lost a true icon this month when Carl Weathers, the prolific actor who gained fame playing Apollo Creed in the Rocky franchise, died at 76.

The actor’s sudden passing shocked fans. Now, Weathers’ cause of death has been revealed — read on to find out more.

Kathy Hutchins /

Carl Weathers: 1948 – 2024

Best known for playing Apollo Creed, the rival-turned-friend of Rocky Balboa in the first four Rocky films, Weathers was also known for his roles in the classic action film Predator, the Adam Sandler comedy Happy Gilmore, and the Star Wars TV series The Mandalorian.

Carl Weathers and Arnold Schwarzenegger on the set of “Predator”. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

Weathers died in his sleep at home on February 1, as confirmed by his family in a released statement.

“Carl was an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life,” their statement reads, per Deadline. “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.”

Cause of death revealed

A cause of death was not immediately provided. His death came as a shock to many fans and peers in the industry, as Weathers had continued working up until the end: he appeared in the third season of The Mandalorian and filmed a Super Bowl commercial with Rob Gronkowski, which aired during last night’s game.

Brandon Nagy /

But a week after the actor’s passing, a cause of death has been revealed: Weathers died naturally of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, after suffering from heart disease for several years. The news was reported by The Blast, who cited his official death certificate.

After his death, many of his Hollywood peers paid tribute, including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Adam Sandler.

Featureflash Photo Agency /

“Today is an incredibly sad day for me,” Stallone said. “I mean, I’m so torn up I can’t even tell you. I’m just trying to hold it in because Carl Weathers was such an integral part of my life, my success, everything about it. I give him incredible credit and kudos, because when he walked into that room, and I saw him for the first time, I saw greatness, but I didn’t realize how great.”

“I never could have accomplished what we did with Rocky without him. He was absolutely brilliant. His voice, his size, his power, his athletic ability, but more importantly, his heart, his soul. It’s a horrible loss,” he added. “He was magic, and I was so fortunate to be part of his life. So, Apollo, keep punching.”

Super Bowl commercial

His posthumously-aired Super Bowl commercial during last night’s game also acknowledged his passing with a card reading “Thank you, Carl. 1948 – 2024.”

The FanDuel spot features Weathers training former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski for the “Kick of Destiny.” While Gronkowski misses the kick, Weathers still commends him for “giving his all.”

It was perhaps a fitting final send-off for the actor, who not only began his career as an NFL football player, but who so memorably played the mentors of both Rocky Balboa and Happy Gilmore.

Rest in peace to the great Carl Weathers. Please share this story in his memory ❤️💔

Thank you for subscribing!
Something went wrong. Please try again later.

Sign up for our newsletter