Sylvester Stallone leads heartfelt tributes to late Rocky co-star Carl Weathers

Virgin Radio

3 Feb 2024, 11:11

Credit: Getty

Stallone reflects on Weathers' legacy and their close bond.

In a poignant Instagram video, Sylvester Stallone paid an emotional tribute to his dear friend and Rocky co-star, Carl Weathers, who peacefully passed away in his sleep at the age of 76 on February 1.

The legendary actor shared memories and expressed deep sorrow over the loss of the talented Weathers, emphasising the profound impact he had on Stallone's life and success.

Sylvester Stallone, began the heartfelt video by addressing his followers with a heavy heart, stating: "Today is an incredibly sad day for me. I mean, I'm so torn up I can't even tell you."

Stallone continued, trying to hold back his emotions, acknowledging Weathers' pivotal role in his life and success: "Carl Weathers was such an integral part of my life, of my success."

He credited Weathers with greatness, recalling the first time he saw him: "When he walked into that room and saw him for the first time, I saw greatness. But I didn't realise how great. I never could have accomplished what we did with Rocky without him."

Stallone praised Weathers' multifaceted talents, highlighting his voice, size, power, athletic ability, and, most importantly, his heart and soul. He described Weathers as 'absolutely brilliant' and lamented the 'horrible loss' to the world.

Against the backdrop of a painting depicting Stallone and Weathers in the ring together from the Rocky films, Stallone reminisced about their last moments in the ring.

He held up his fist, expressing his emotions, and said, 'So Apollo...keep punching,' paying tribute to Weathers' iconic character Apollo Creed.

Social media users flooded the comments with messages of condolences, acknowledging the unique talent and legacy of Carl Weathers.

Fans expressed gratitude for the contributions of both Stallone and Weathers to the world of entertainment.

In an official statement, Weathers' family announced his passing, describing him as an 'exceptional human being' who led an extraordinary life.

They highlighted his impact across film, television, the arts, and sports, leaving an indelible mark recognised worldwide and across generations.

Carl Weathers gained worldwide fame for his portrayal of heavyweight champion Apollo Creed in the 1976 film Rocky.

The character played a pivotal role in the iconic underdog story of Rocky Balboa, portrayed by Sylvester Stallone.

Weathers reprised his role in subsequent Rocky films, solidifying his status as a cinematic legend.

Apollo Creed's legacy continued in the acclaimed Rocky spin-off film series, Creed, where Michael B. Jordan portrayed Apollo's secret son and boxer Adonis Creed.

In an interview, Weathers revealed that he inadvertently insulted Stallone during his Rocky audition, but Stallone considered it in line with Creed's character.

He said: "There was nobody to read with, and they said you’re going to read with the writer [Stallone].

"And we read through the scene and at the end of it, I didn't feel like it had really sailed, that the scene had sailed, and they were quiet and there was this moment of awkwardness, I felt, anyway.

"So I just blurted out, 'I could do a lot better if you got me a real actor to work with.' So I just insulted the star of the movie without really knowing it and not intending to."

Sometimes though, as Weathers noted, 'the mistakes are the ones that get you the gig.'

Fellow celebrities, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pedro Pascal and Adam Sandler, paid tribute to Weathers, praising his athletic prowess, acting skills, and genuine personality.

Schwarzenegger shared a photo from their collaboration in Predator, acknowledging Weathers' commitment to his craft.

He wrote: "Carl Weathers will always be a legend. An extraordinary athlete, a fantastic actor, and a great person.

"We couldn't have made Predator without him. And we certainly wouldn't have had such a wonderful time making it.

"Every minute with him - on set and off - was pure joy. He was the type of friend who pushes you to be your best just to keep up with him. I'll miss him, and my thoughts are with his family."

“words fail 💔 #CarlWeathers,” Pascal, wrote on Instagram alongside a throwback of his late Mandalorian costar.

Whereas Weathers' Happy Gilmore co-star Sandler said on X (formerly Twitter): "A true great man. Great dad. Great actor. Great athlete. So much fun to be around always. Smart as hell. Loyal as hell. Funny as hell."

As the entertainment world mourns the loss of Carl Weathers, Stallone's poignant tribute stands as a testament to the enduring impact of their friendship and collaboration, both on and off the screen.