Carl Weathers, the man known as Greef Karga in the ‘Star Wars’ universe, passed away on February 1, 2024 aged 76.
His family released a statement to say that the actor died in his sleep.
Weather was married and divorced three times, and is survived by his two children, Jason and Matthew.
While playing Karga in ‘The Mandalorian’ might be how modern audiences recognise him, Weathers’ appeared in all four ‘Rocky’ films as Apollo Creed, acting opposite Sylvester Stallone.
Stallone shared a touching tribute to Weathers on his Instagram.
He explained that it was “an incredibly sad day” and he was “torn up.
“Carl Weathers was such an integral part of my life, my success… I give him incredible credit. When he walked into that room and I saw him for the first time, I saw greatness but I didn’t realise how great. I never could have accomplished what we did with Rocky without him. He was absolutely brilliant. Rest in power and keep punching.”
Weathers also appeared in the 1987 sci-fi film ‘Predator’ with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Schwarzenegger shared his tribute on X, saying:
“Carl Weathers will always be a legend. An extraordinary athlete, a fantastic actor, and a great person.
“We couldn’t have made Predator without him. And we certainly wouldn’t have had such a wonderful time making it.”
A second post continued:
“Every minute with him – on set and off – was pure joy. He was the type of friend who pushes you to be your best just to keep up with him. I’ll miss him, and my thoughts are with his family.”
Before he starred in major franchises, Weathers played for the NFL, signing with the Oakland Raiders in 1970 and BC Lions in 1971.
Weathers turned his hand to appearing in comedies, having roles in ‘Arrested Development,’ and ‘Happy Gilmore.’
Later in his career, he joined the legendary Disney-owned franchise ‘Star Wars,’ appearing in all three seasons of ‘The Mandalorian’ as Greef Karga, a magistrate on the planet of Nevarro.
Weathers directed some of the episodes of the show.
Dave Filoni, now the Chief Creative Officer at Lucasfilm, said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight:
“He was the best, I dunno how to describe it. Just the fact that I got to meet him, to know him… He was one of the first people I directed, and he’s such an exceptional director… and he is great on and off camera. Jon [Favreau] and I were thrilled with what he did as Greef Karga and then as an episodic director for us… just the energy, the power that he carried in his stature and his voice… I mean, it’s rough. We’re gonna miss him dearly… and his legacy will continue on in ways we can’t even imagine.”
Jon Favreau, creator of ‘The Mandalorian,’ said in a post on StarWars.com:
“I am heartbroken by this devastating loss. He was a hero from my childhood who I was lucky enough to meet and then had the amazing good fortune to work with. He had the energy and curiosity of a young man paired with the wisdom that his rich life and career afforded him. My heart goes out to his family and countless admirers.”