Hollywood’s lost another great one. Tony Burton, whose character trained both Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa in the ‘Rocky’ franchise, has died. He was 78 years old.
Rocky fans are mourning the loss of Tony Burton. The actor, who most notably played Apollo’s trainer Duke in the Rocky movies, has passed away at the age of 78. One of his co-stars confirmed the sad news in a heartbreaking tweet.
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“Sad news. RIP Tony Burton. His intensity and talent helped make the Rocky movies successful. #BePeace,” Rocky co-star Carl Weathers, who played Apollo Creed, tweeted on Feb. 25. Tony’s sister, Loretta “Peaches” Kelley, first revealed the news to Michigan news site MLive.com.
His sister said that Tony had been in and out of the hospital over the past year, but he was never officially diagnosed. His declining health prevented Tony from seeing Creed in 2015, the movie focusing on the son of Apollo Creed, played by Michael B. Jordan.
Tony had a long career in Hollywood, but he was best known for playing Tony “Duke” Evers in the first six Rocky movies, alongside Sylvester Stallone. He was one of the few actors to appear in all six films. His character became Rocky’s trainer in Rocky III. Tony also had roles in The Shining, Hook, Assault on Precinct 13, Stir Crazy and more. Tony’s character didn’t make an appearance in Creed. Sylvester is nominated for an Academy Award for his role as Rocky Balboa in the 2015 film.
Before he was an actor, Tony was a professional light heavyweight boxer and football player. Tony won Flint Golden Globes light heavyweight titles in 1955 and 1957 before he started his acting career.
Our thoughts our with Tony’s family and friends during this difficult time. He will be so missed.