'Rocky' star Carl Weathers' Super Bowl ad being changed following death

US director/actor Carl Weathers arrives to a special screening of season three of The Mandalorian at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California, on February 28, 2023. (Photo by Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)

"Rocky" actor Carl Weathers' FanDuel Super Bowl ad is being changed after the sudden news of his death. On Feb. 1, the actor "died peacefully in his sleep" at 76, his family shared.

In January, the sports betting company released a preview of its advertisement, which was centered around NFL star Rob Gronkowski. In the original ad, the former New England Patriots tight end was walking through the desert, toward Las Vegas, after missing the "FanDuel kick of destiny."

Weathers made a cameo appearance and pulled up next to Gronkowski on a motorcycle with a sidecar and said, "This time, you won’t miss." They drove off toward Sin City together. 

Following Weathers' sudden passing, Andrew Sneyd, FanDuel’s executive vice president of marketing, shared that the original ad would not be "appropriate." Weathers' will still appear in the new Super Bowl ad and Sneyd shared with the Hollywood Reporter that FanDuel has contacted Weathers' family to make sure they are okay with the new video.


"We had built a master. One is an edit if he makes the kick and we have an edit if he misses," Sneyd said in a statement to the outlet. "That content we had in those masters wouldn’t be appropriate for us to do anymore. Since the news of Carl’s passing came, we have been working with editors to help us get back to something that does make sense."

After Carl's death, FanDuel released a statement, sharing their condolences.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Carl Weathers," the sports betting company told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. "Throughout his life, Carl was an iconic talent who had a profound impact on the people he worked with on and off the screen."

Their statement continued, "FanDuel was fortunate to have had an opportunity to work with him during our Super Bowl campaign. We are adjusting our campaign accordingly out of respect for the family during their time of grief."

Earlier this month, Carl's family issued a statement, sharing that the former NFL player had passed away.

"We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers," his family said in a statement. "He died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, February 1st, 2024. … Carl was an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life. Through his contributions to film, television, the arts and sports, he has left an indelible mark and is recognized worldwide and across generations. He was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, partner, and friend."

Weathers played Apollo Creed in the first four movies in the "Rocky" series. He also starred opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Predator" and Adam Sandler in "Happy Gilmore." In 2021, Weathers was nominated for an Emmy Award for his performance in the Disney+ "Star Wars" television series "The Mandalorian."

Weathers made his first appearance as the cocky, undisputed heavyweight world champion in 1976’s "Rocky," starring Sylvester Stallone. The actor reprised his role as Creed in 1979's "Rocky II," 1982's "Rocky III" and 1985's "Rocky IV." 

In the franchise's fourth film, Creed memorably died in the ring during a fight against Soviet Union champion Ivan Drago, played by Dolph Lundgren. After Creed's death, his son Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) would lead his own boxing trilogy starting in 2015. 

Weathers took on leading roles in the action movies "Action Jackson" (1988) and "Hurricane Smith" (1992). In 1996, he starred as Chubbs Peterson, a former golf star who lost his hand after an alligator attack, in Sandler's classic comedy "Happy Gilmore." 

The actor reprised his role in a cameo appearance in Sandler's 2000 fantasy comedy movie "Little Nicky." In 2002, he voiced a character in the animated Hanukkah movie "Eight Crazy Nights," which starred Sandler in his first voice-acting role.


Weathers also starred in TV's "Street Justice," "In the Heat of the Night," "Tour of Duty," "Colony," "Chicago Justice" and "Star vs. the Forces of Evil." 

He played a caricature of himself in four episodes of the hit sitcom "Arrested Development" from 2004 to 2013 and also appeared in "The Shield," "E.R.," "Psych," "Chicago P.D.," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Magnum P.I."

Other film credits include roles in "Friday Foster," "Bucktown," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Death Hunt," "The Comebacks" and "Toy Story 4." 

Weathers most recently starred in all three seasons of "The Mandalorian" as Greef Karga, the leader of a bounty hunter guild. 

In 2021, he received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his performance. Weathers also directed two episodes of the series, "Chapter 12: The Siege" and "Chapter 20: The Foundling."

Born in New Orleans on Jan. 14, 1948, Weathers pursued a professional football career before becoming an actor. He played college football at San Diego State University, where he helped the SDSU Aztecs win the 1969 Pasadena Bowl.

After going undrafted by the NFL, Weathers signed the Oakland Raiders in 1970. He helped the Raiders claim the AFC West Division title and returned for the 1971 season before being released by the team. 

Fox News Digital's Brie Stimson contributed to this report. 

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