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Sylvester Stallone fights back tears in emotional new video as he pays tribute to 'a legend'

Carl died on February 1 at the age of 76

Sylvester Stallone attends the Fontainebleau Las Vegas Star-Studded Grand Opening Celebration on December 13, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Fontainebleau Las Vegas)
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
ReporterLos Angeles
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Sylvester Stallone has paid tribute to his Rocky co-star Carl Weathers with an emotional video that saw him fighting back tears. 

Carl died age 76 on February 1, 2024, and in the hours after the news was announced, Sylvester took to social media to honor the "legend" who starred as Apollo Creed alongside Sylvester's Rocky Balboa in the first four films in the franchise. Watch the video below:

Sylvester Stallone fights back tears as he honors Rocky co-star Carl Weathers

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers,” his family said in a statement, shared on February 2. 

He died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, February 1st, 2024. … Carl was an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life. 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.” 

Carl Weathers and Sylvester Stallone attend the premiere of "Creed" at Regency Village Theatre on November 19, 2015 in Westwood, California.  (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)© Jason LaVeris
Carl Weathers and Sylvester Stallone attend the premiere of Creed in 2015

Standing in front of a wall mural that depicted one of Rocky and Apollo's final fights, Sylvester began: "Today is an incredibly sad day for me. 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 continued, choking back tears. 

"And I'm standing here in front of this painting because it was probably the last moment we were ever in the rain together and I'll never forget it. He was magic and I was so fortunate to be part of this life. So Apollo? Keep punching."

Sylvester Stallone (L) and Carl Weathers grip hands and smile together during a press conference in a still from the film, 'Rocky,' directed by John G. Avildsen, 1976© United Artists
Sylvester Stallone (L) and Carl Weathers in a still from the film Rocky

Born in 1948, the actor had a storied life, playing as a linebacker in the NFL before transitioning to acting in the 1970s. In the Rocky franchise, he appeared in the first four films as the heavyweight champion of the world Apollo Creed, the main antagonist to the titular Rocky Balboa. 

He was killed off in Rocky IV (1985) during a fight with Russian heavyweight Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) but his story continued with the 2015 sports film Creed, which starred Michael B Jordan as Adonis Creed, Apollo's son, who is trained by Rocky. 

Carl Weathers in Chicago Justice alongside Philip Winchester© NBC
Carl Weathers in Chicago Justice alongside Philip Winchester

He later went on to star in the cult classic Predator, as well as the Adam Sandler comedy Happy Gilmore, playing the title character’s golf coach. 

Adam posted a tribute on X/Twitter in the hours after the news broke: “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. Loved his sons more than anything. What a guy!! Everyone loved him. My wife and I had the best times with him every time we saw him. Love to his entire family and Carl will always be known as a true legend.” 

In 2017 he joined the cast of the short lived One Chicago spin-off Chicago Justice on NBC as State's Attorney Mark Jefferies before he joined the 2019 series The Mandalorian alongside Pedro Pascal. 

Carl was Emmy-nominated for his work, and Pedro honored his co-star with an Instagram post that simply read: "Words fail."

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