Carl Weathers is dead at the age of 76. It’s shocking to consider, even though his best-known character, Apollo Creed, in some ways was ultimately defined by his death in 1985’s “Rocky IV.” The franchise went on without him, and ultimately followed his son played by Michael B. Jordan. But for the next 38 years, there was the fact that Weathers was in reality alive, well, in astonishingly great shape, and underutilized.
Now, Weathers has died himself. And given that he was one of Hollywood’s most prominent musclemen of the late ’70s and ’80s, an era defined by fitness-obsessed actors who either were athletes or aspired to be them, 76 feels startlingly young. Especially given how vital and active he was up until the very end, even directing a couple episodes of “The Mandalorian” so good that one wishes he could have, for the sake of that show’s quality, directed more.
If that’s a little dig to get in there, it’s fitting given Weathers’ persona. Of all the testosterone-fueled action stars of the Reagan era, he had the sharpest sense of humor, the most wicked self-awareness.
More to come…