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Sylvester Stallone’s moving tribute as Rocky co-star Carl Weathers dies at 76

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Hollywood legend Sylvester Stallone has paid tribute to Rocky co-star Carl Weathers following his death at the age of 76.

His family released a statement through his agent to announce that he died “peacefully in his sleep” on February 1.

“Carl was an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life,” the statement continued.

“Through his contributions to film, television, the arts and sports, he has left an indelible mark and is recognized around the world and across generations. He was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, partner and friend.

Weathers has starred in films such as Predator And Merry Gilmorebut he is arguably best known for his role as the iconic Apollo Creed in Rocky.

Weathers first appeared in this iconic role in 1976. Rockybefore reprising the role in 1979 Rocky II (1979) and 1982 Rocky IIIbefore the character was killed in the ring by Ivan Drogo in 1984 Rocky IV.

Stallone, who wrote and starred as Rocky Balboa, paid tribute to Weathers in an emotional Instagram post.

“Today is an incredibly sad day for me. I’m so torn up I can’t even tell you,” Stallone said.

“I’m just trying to hold back 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 much .

“I could never have accomplished what we did with Rocky without him.

“He was absolutely brilliant. His voice, his size, his power, his athletic abilities but above all his heart and his soul. It’s a horrible loss.

Stallone filmed the video in front of a painting of the pair in the ring at the end of Rocky III, with the famous freeze frame ending as Rocky and Apollo settle their trilogy behind closed doors.

Stallone added: “That was probably the last moment we were in the ring together and I’ll never forget it.

“He was magical and I was so lucky to be a part of his life.

“So, Apollo, keep knocking.”

The Rocky series spawned a franchise of nine films, including five Rocky movies, 2006s Rocky Balboa and the Creed trilogy, which follows his son Adonis Creed, played by Michael B. Jordan.

A 10th filmCreed 4would be under development.

Jordan posted a short tribute on his Instagram Stories, writing: “We lost a legend.”

But the original remains one of the greatest sports films in history.

Rocky ranked 78th in the American Film Institute rankings. 100 years… 100 films list, while Vulture ranked it the third greatest sports film of all time, while rolling stone ranked it second in their list.

This was just the tip of the iceberg of tributes to Weathers, to comedian Adam Sandler, with whom Weathers starred in Merry Gilmore And Little Nickyposted his own touching tribute.

“A truly great man. Great dad. Good actor. Great athlete. It’s so much fun to still be here. Smart as hell. Faithful as you wish. It’s funny as hell. He loved his sons more than anything. Which guy! Everyone loved him. My wife and I had better times with him every time we saw him. I love his entire family and Carl will always be known as a true legend,” Sandler wrote.

Weathers was recently seen on the small screen in the Star Wars spinoff series The Mandalorian — a guest role for which he won an Emmy.

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