Carl Weathers is an American actor and former professional football player. He was born on January 14, 1948 in New Orleans and graduated from Long Beach Polytechnic High School in 1966. He registered at Long Beach City College but could not play football there due to an ankle injury. He then transferred to San Diego State University where he played from 1966 to 1969. His professional career started with a brief stint with the Oakland Raiders in 1970 and 1971 before transferring to the Canadian Football League. He retired from football in 1974 in order to pursue his acting career.
He started acting by first appearing in two blaxploitation films, namely “Bucktown” and “Friday Foster” in 1975. He made a guest appearance on an episode of the television series “Kung Fu”. He also appeared on the first four “Rocky” films with Sylvester Stallone in 1976, 1979, 1982 and 1985. His character died in the fourth film and Sylvester Stallone asked Weathers for permission to use some footage of him from the earlier movies for the final film. Weathers wanted to appear in person for those scenes but Stallone refused and Weathers subsequently refused to give Stallone permission to use his earlier footage in the final film.
In 1978, Carl Weathers appeared in a television movie called “Not This Time” and also in a number of action films including “Force 10 from Navarone” in 1978, “Predator” with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura in 1987, “Action Jackson” in 1988 and “Hurricane Smith” in 1992. He appeared in Michael Jackson’s music video for the song “Liberian Girl” and appeared on two Adam Sandler films “Happy Gilmore” and “Little Nicky”. He made small appearances in a parody sketch on the hit comedy sketch show “Saturday Night Live” announcing that he was running for a political office and urging viewers to vote for him.
Weathers played the role of Hampton Forbes, the chief of police, on the final season of the television show “In the Heat of the Night” as a replacement for Bill Gillespie and reprised this role in the movie based on the show. He played similar roles in the television series “Street Justice” and “Tour of Duty”. In 2004, he joined the cast of the hit television comedy “Arrested Development” for 3 episodes where his role was an exaggerated version of his real personality. Other comedic roles include “The Sasquatch Gang” and “The Comebacks”. In 2008, he appeared on one episode of the finale of the long running television drama E.R. He also starred in the sitcom “Brothers” which aired for a short time in 2009.
Weathers runs a company called “Red Tight Media” which is a production company specializing in producing training videos for the U.S. Army. Other than acting, he has done commercials including Old Spice, Credit Union of Washington and Bud Light. He has also done some voiceover and narration work including a television show about University of Southern California athletes titled “Conquest! The Price Of Victory – Witness The Journey of the Trojans!”.
Carl Weathers has been married thrice – first in February 1973 to Mary Ann Castle, with whom he has two sons. The couple divorced in 1983. He was next married to Rhona Unsell in February 1984, and finally to Jennifer Peterson in 2007 and divorced in 2009. He supports a non-profit organization called “Big Brothers Big Sisters of America” and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee.