Next Club Meeting: March 16, 2024, at the Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

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Saturday, February 3, 2024

Actor and Director, Carl Weathers, has died at 76...

CARL WEATHERS
(January 14, 1948 – February 1, 2024)
Carl Weathers was an American actor, director, and football linebacker. His roles included boxer Apollo Creed in the first four Rocky films (1976–1985), and he had a recurring role as Greef Karga in the Star Wars series The Mandalorian (2019–2023), for which he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.
 
Weathers began working as an extra while still playing football. He had his first significant roles in two blaxploitation films directed by his longtime friend Arthur Marks: Bucktown (1975) and Friday Foster (1975). Weathers also appeared in an early 1975 episode of the sitcom Good Times titled "The Nude", portraying an angry husband who suspected his wife of cheating on him with J.J. He also guest-starred in a 1975 episode of Kung Fu titled "The Brothers Caine", and in an episode of Cannon titled "The Hero". In 1976, he appeared as a loan shark in an episode of the crime-drama Starsky & Hutch, and in the Barnaby Jones episode "The Bounty Hunter" as escaped convict Jack Hopper.

While auditioning for the role of Apollo Creed alongside Sylvester Stallone in Rocky, Weathers criticized Stallone's acting, which led to him getting the role. He reprised the role of Apollo Creed in the next three Rocky films: Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), and Rocky IV (1985).

Weathers briefly appears as an Army MP in one of the three released versions of Close Encounters of the Third Kind (originally released in 1977). In 1978, Weathers portrayed Vince Sullivan in a TV movie, Not This Time. In the late 1970s and 1980s, Weathers starred in a number of action films for the small and big screen, including Force 10 from Navarone (1978), Predator (1987), Action Jackson (1988), and Hurricane Smith (1992). As a member of the cast of Predator, Weathers worked with future California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and future Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura. Many years later he appeared in a spoof segment on Saturday Night Live, announcing that he was running for political office and urging viewers to vote for him on the basis that "he was the black guy in Predator".

He also appeared in Michael Jackson's "Liberian Girl" music video and co-starred in the 1996 Adam Sandler comedy Happy Gilmore, as Chubbs, a golf legend teaching Happy how to play golf. He reprised the role nearly four years later in the Sandler comedy Little Nicky. Filming a fall stunt in Happy Gilmore, Weathers fractured two vertebrae and his osteophytes grew out and connected and self-fused badly. He says he was in excruciating pain for three to four years.

Another notable television role was Sgt. Adam Beaudreaux on the cop show Street Justice. Afterwards, during the final two seasons of In the Heat of the Night (1992–1994), his character, Hampton Forbes, replaced Bill Gillespie as the chief of police. He also played MACV-SOG Colonel Brewster in the CBS series Tour of Duty.

In 2004, Weathers received a career revival as a comedic actor beginning with appearances in three episodes of the comedy series Arrested Development as a cheapskate caricature of himself, who serves as Tobias Fünke's acting coach. He was then cast in the comedies The Sasquatch Gang and The Comebacks. Weathers had a guest role in two episodes of The Shield as the former training officer of main character Vic Mackey.

Weathers provided the voice for Colonel Samuel Garrett in the Pandemic Studios video game Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction. In 2005, he was a narrator on Conquest! The Price of Victory — Witness the Journey of the Trojans!, an 18-part television show about USC athletics. Weathers is a principal of Red Tight Media, a film and video production company that specializes in tactical training films made for the United States armed forces. He also appeared in one episode of ER as the father of an injured boxer during their 2008 finale season.

For the sixth film in the Rocky series, Rocky Balboa (2006), Stallone asked Weathers, Mr. T, and Dolph Lundgren for permission to use footage from their appearances in the earlier Rocky films. Mr. T and Lundgren agreed, but Weathers wanted an actual part in the movie, even though his character had died in Rocky IV. Stallone refused, and Weathers decided not to allow Stallone to use his image for flashbacks from the previous films. They instead used footage of a fighter who looks similar to Weathers. Weathers and Stallone patched up their differences and Weathers agreed to allow footage of him from previous films to be used throughout Creed (2015).

Weathers portrayed the father of Michael Strahan and Daryl "Chill" Mitchell's characters on the short-lived 2009 Fox sitcom Brothers. Weathers acted as Brian "Gebo" Fitzgerald in advertising for Old Spice's sponsorship of NASCAR driver Tony Stewart. He also appeared in an ongoing series of web-only advertisements for Credit Union of Washington, dispensing flowers and the advice that "change is beautiful" to puzzled-looking bystanders. He also starred in a series of commercials for Bud Light, in which he introduced plays from the "Bud Light Playbook." At the conclusion of each commercial, Weathers could be seen bursting through the Bud Light Playbook and shouting "Here we go!"

In 2019, Weathers appeared as Greef Karga in several episodes of the first season of the Star Wars series, The Mandalorian. He returned for the second season and also directed the episode "Chapter 12: The Siege". He returned for season 3 and directed the episode "Chapter 20: The Foundling". His performance earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor.

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