Actor Carl Weathers, who portrayed Sylvester Stallone’s boxing nemesis-turned-friend and mentor Apollo Creed in four “Rocky” films, has died at age 76, his family announced today.

In a statement to Deadline, the family said Weathers “died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday.”

“Carl was an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life,” his family said. “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.”

No other details were immediately released.

Weathers was born in New Orleans but eventually moved to California and attended Long Beach Poly High School, where he played football before graduating in 1966.

He briefly attended Long Beach City College before transferring to San Diego State where he played on the undefeated 1969 Aztec football team before signing with the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent. He later played for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League before retiring and pursuing an acting career.

He made appearances in a series of television programs, including “Kung Fu” and “Starsky and Hutch,” but rose to fame when he landed the role of boxing champion Apollo Creed, who gives Stallone’s Rocky Balboa a shot at the title in the 1976 film “Rocky.” He reprised the role in three sequels, before his character died in the ring in “Rocky IV.”

His other notable roles included a spot opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Predator,” and in films including “Action Jackson” and “Happy Gilmore.”

He more recently appeared in the popular Disney+ streaming series “The Mandalorian,” which earned him an Emmy nomination for outstanding guest actor.

Staff writer Jason Ruiz contributed to this report.