January 14, 1948
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Actor, Director, Football player
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From Apollo Creed to Col. George Dylan, and from Chubbs Peterson to, um, Carl Weathers, Carl Weathers enjoyed a long and successful career as a supporting player in some of film and television's most beloved properties, often by following one simple credo: never be afraid to poke fun at yourself. Born on January 14, 1948 in New Orleans, LA, Weathers initially held dreams of becoming a professional football star. As a student at St. Augustine High School, Weathers was a full-blown jock, involved in football, boxing, gymnastics, judo, soccer, and wrestling. After a brief stint at Long Beach City College, Weathers enrolled in San Diego State University, where he played linebacker, earning him letterman status in 1968 and 1969. The following year, Weathers went pro when he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders, though he only ended up playing seven games with them over the '70-'71 season. Following two seasons with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League, Weathers enrolled in San Francisco State University, where he earned a B.A. in Drama in 1974. He started out in the business with two supporting roles in low budget blaxploitation films directed by an old friend of his, Arthur Marks: "Bucktown" (1975), and "Friday Foster" (1975). Small guest parts on episodes of "Good Times" (CBS, 1974-79), "Kung Fu" (ABC, 1972-75), and "Starsky and Hutch" (ABC, 1975-79), soon followed, before Weathers landed his career-defining role as Apollo Creed, the champion boxer faced by Sylvester Stallone's underdog, Rocky Balboa, in the inspiring sports epic, "Rocky" (1976). The film was a surprise box office smash, and went on to win several Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Weathers would reprise the role of Apollo Creed, going from Rocky's foe to one of his closest friends, in "Rocky II" (1979), "Rocky III" (1982), and "Rocky IV" (1985), in which Creed was killed in the ring by the villainous Russian fighter Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren). In the late '80s and early '90s, Weathers was seemingly in nearly every action movie of note, beginning with the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle "Predator" (1987), where he played Col. George Dylan (and shared one of cinema's classic handshakes with Schwarzenegger) and continuing through the likes of "Action Jackson" (1988), and "Hurricane Smith" (1992). Once the action roles began to dry up, Weathers simply reinvented himself once again, this time as a comedic sidekick. Weathers was introduced to a whole new generation of filmgoers as Chubbs Peterson, the eccentric one-handed golf pro who showed Adam Sandler the rules of the game in the comedy smash "Happy Gilmore" (1996). Sandler would later have Weathers reprise the role of Chubbs for a cameo in "Little Nicky" (2000). Weathers' most beloved role in the 2000s was the one he had been preparing his whole life to play: Carl Weathers. During the first season of the cult hit "Arrested Development" (Fox, 2003-2006, Netflix, 2013-), Weathers played a fictional version of himself, as an opportunistic cheapskate offering half-baked acting lessons to the show's delusional and naive wannabe thespian, Tobias Fünke (David Cross). Though he only appeared on three episodes, Weathers' self-aware turn was met with praise, and helped land him gigs in the big screen comedies "The Sasquatch Gang" (2006), and "The Comebacks" (2007). In 2017, Weathers brought it all full circle by reuniting with Sandler once more for the showbiz parody "Sandy Wexler" (Netflix, 2017).