Carl Weathers’ cause of death has been revealed just days after the Rocky star’s passing.
Weathers died of “atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease” after suffering from heart disease for years, according to his death certificate obtained by The Blast on Friday, February 9. The actor passed away at his home in Venice, California on Friday, February 2, at 12:18 a.m. PT, per the outlet. His death is listed as “natural.” He was 76.
Weathers’ family first confirmed his death on February 2, revealing he “died peacefully in his sleep.”
“Carl was an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life,” they told Deadline in a statement at the time. “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.”
Weathers was a professional football player before transitioning to acting in the ‘70s. He kicked off his career with small roles in films such as Bucktown and Friday Foster before landing opposite Sylvester Stallone in 1976’s Rocky as the movie’s main antagonist, Apollo Creed. He later returned for the next three sequels: Rocky II, Rocky III and Rocky IV.
Following his death, Stallone, 77, honored Weathers with a heartfelt tribute via social media.
“This is an incredibly sad day for me. I’m so so torn up I can’t even tell you,” Stallone said in a February 2 Instagram video. “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.”
Stallone called the late actor “brilliant” in his “voice, his size, his power, his athletic ability” but “most importantly in his heart and his soul.”
Alongside the video, Stallone captioned the post, “We lost a legend yesterday. My life was forever changed for the better the day I met Carl Weathers. Rest in power and keep punching.”
Outside of the Rocky universe, Weathers made appearances in various films like Predator, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Death Hunt and The Comebacks. In 2021, he was nominated an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his work on Star Wars’ series The Mandalorian.
Pedro Pascal, who starred alongside Weathers on the Disney+ series, also paid tribute following his death with a sweet throwback photo of the twosome. Adam Sandler, who shared the screen with Weathers in 1996’s Happy Gilmore, shared his own condolences, calling the actor a “true great man.”
“Great dad. Great actor. Great athlete. So much fun to be around always,” Sandler, 57, wrote via Instagram. “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.”
Weathers is survived by his ex-wife, Mary Ann Castle, and their two sons.