Sylvester Stallone posted a tearful tribute video to Carl Weathers on Instagram.
Weathers passed away at the age of 76 on Thursday. He was renowned for his portrayal of Apollo Creed in the initial four Rocky films.
In a visibly moved voice, Stallone paid tribute to his long-time friend, stating, “My life was forever changed for the better the day I met Carl Weathers. He was magic. And I was fortunate to be part of his life. Rest in power and keep punching.”
Sylvester Stallone Pays Tribute to Carl Weathers
The video is set against the backdrop of an abstract painting reminiscent of their Rocky days in the boxing ring.
Stallone starts by saying, “Hello, everyone. Today is an incredibly sad day for me. Carl Weathers was such an integral part of my life. Which says everything about it. I give him incredible credit. 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.”
Stallone then acknowledged Weathers’ pivotal role in the Rocky franchise. “I never could have accomplished what we did with Rocky without him. He was absolutely great. His voice, his size, his power, his athletic ability, but more importantly, his heart… his soul.”
Stallone and Weathers’ partnership goes back to the early days of both actors’ careers. Stallone — then a budding actor and screenwriter — first teamed up with Weathers in the groundbreaking underdog-boxer film Rocky. The two went on to team up in four more classic Rocky films.
Weathers concluded his on-screen appearances as Creed in Rocky IV, a Cold War-themed sequel where he and Creed engage in an exhibition match against the Soviet contender Ivan Drago, portrayed by Dolph Lundgren. It marked a poignant moment as Creed met his demise in the ring, closing a chapter in the iconic film series.