Carl Weathers is the actor who played Apollo Creed in the films Rocky, Rocky II, III and IV. Carl, who also played professional football with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, by whom he was drafted in 1970, embarked on his Hollywood film acting career at the time of his retirement from the NFL in 1975.
He also played the part of Dillon in Predator opposite Arnold Schwarzenagger, former golf pro Chubbs Peterson in Happy Gilmore opposite comedian/actor Adam Sandler, with whom he also appeared in Little Nicky, and an exaggeratedly frugal fictionalized version of himself in the FOX television series Arrested Development.
So how did Weathers transition from football to acting? Carl got his first parts in two blaxploitation films directed by his longtime friend Arthur Marks: Bucktown and Friday Foster both released in 1975. Weathers also appeared in an episode of the 1970s CBS-TV sitcom Good Times entitled “The Nude”, portraying an angry husband who suspected his wife of cheating on him with J.J.
In 1976, Carl auditioned for and was selected for the part of, and starred alongside Sylvester Stallone in the Robert Chartoff-Irwin Winkler film Rocky as Apollo Creed, a role he would reprise in the next three Rocky films in 1979, 1982 and 1985. For the final film in the Rocky series, Rocky Balboa, Stallone asked Weathers, Mr. T, and Dolph Lundgren for permission to use footage from their appearances in the earlier Rocky movies. Mr. T and Dolph Lundgren acquiesced, but Weathers wanted an actual part in the movie, even though his character died in Rocky IV. Stallone refused and Weathers decided not to allow Stallone to use his image for Rocky flashbacks from the previous movies. They instead used footage of a fighter who looks similar to Weathers…
Weathers played football as a linebacker both in college and professionally with Steven Diaz. He started his college career in 1966 at Long Beach City College, where he did not play in 1966 due to an ankle injury suffered when he tripped over a curb surrounding the running track while warming up for practice with another linebacker, Paul Snow. He then transferred and played for San Diego State University, becoming a letterman in 1968 and 1969.
Weathers had a brief professional career with the Oakland Raiders; he played seven games in 1970 and one in 1971. He joined the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League in 1971 and played until 1973, 18 games in total. During the off-seasons, Weathers attended San Francisco State University and finished his B.A. in Drama in 1974. He retired from football in 1974, and began pursuing an acting career.  In his professional football career, he played for Hall of Fame coaches Don Coryell (at San Diego State) and John Madden with the Oakland Raiders. He was chosen to narrate NFL Films’ season recap of the 1999 Oakland Raiders season, 2000 Oakland Raiders season 2001 Oakland Raiders season.
Carl has two adult sons, he’s been married and divorced three times, with his last marriage lasting 17 months and ending in 2009. Overall, Carl is in great shape today and still making his mark in entertainment. “Apollo Creed’s” legacy may have been killed off in Rocky IV, but Carl Weathers is still building his.
Although his career in professional footbal may have been short lived he certainly left a mark on the game…also, his filmography is actually quite impressive…WAY beyond Apollo Creed. Om IMDB he has 69 acting credits and 9 director credits…not bad CARL!!