In July 2022, actor Carl Weathers stopped by Chicago's WGN News to talk about a career that spanned decades. His energy was upbeat and joyous, undoubtedly because his reason for being in town was as a guest at a fan expo. Carl smiles as he discusses the fact that his fanbase is comprised of generations of people. From grandmas and grandpas all the way down to their great grandchildren, everyone loves his work. In fact, he attributes his career to the fans who continued to support him.
Sadly, Deadline reported that Carl passed away Feb. 1, 2024. During that conversation in Chicago, he mentioned not wanting to look back when it came to his career because all that mattered was what he's doing now. Fortunately he leaves behind a legacy of film and television that will continue to find new fans of his work. Here's what we know about his cause of death and the offerings he left behind.
Carl Weather's cause of death was revealed in a statement from his family.
In a statement to Deadline, Carl's family shared that he "died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, February 1st, 2024." They went on to say that he was an "exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life." His many contributions to "film, television, the arts, and sports" reached many and would undoubtedly find their way to future generations. "He was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, partner, and friend," they said.
Social media was flooded with friends and strangers alike who praised Carl Weathers the person and actor. Jesse Ventura, who worked with Carl on Predator, tweeted, "Carl Weathers was a phenomenal talent, a true professional, and a dear friend. All my sympathies and love to his family. I loved working with him on Predator and then celebrating that film with him at various conventions in the ensuing years."
Director Robert Rodriguez said he'll "miss the great Carl Weathers who I was very fortunate to work with on several occasions." He added that Carl was a "very kind and generous person. His performances were always electrifying and he was also a terrific director of both stage and screen."
Carl Weathers’s career was eclectic and impressive.
Naturally Rocky's Apollo Creed comes to mind when people think of Carl Weathers, and that's definitely a smart move. However, he went on to do such surprising and incredible work that you couldn't possibly place him into a single box. Those less familiar with his resume might not know that Carl was ridiculously funny. Fans of Arrested Devleopment often cite Carl Weathers playing himself on the show as some of their favorite episodes.
It's nearly impossible to forget his role as Derick "Chubbs" Peterson in Adam Sandler's Happy Gilmore. Who else would be on board with playing a former professional golfer whose career was decimated by an alligator biting off his hand. While guesting on The Rich Eisen Show in 2017, Carl said he "had the best time" making Happy Gilmore. When asked about his wooden hand, Carl said he didn't have it but wished he had the version where all of the fingers were broken off.
Later in his career, Carl was able to spend some time behind the camera while directing two episodes of The Mandalorian. He also guest starred on the popular Star Wars franchise series, which earned him a nomination for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.
A great way to sum up who Carl Weathers was can be found in an unusual place. How Did This Get Made?, a bad movie podcast, covered one of Carl's films in June 2023 as a live show. The episode was devoted to his 1988 film Action Jackson. During the audience Q&A, someone shared that they worked with Carl and texted him while en route to the show. When they asked if there was one thing he'd like to say about the movie, Carl replied, "All I remember is wanting more time to make a better movie."