Weathers had a brief professional career with the Oakland Raiders, playing 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 2001 Raiders.
Weathers had his first parts in two blaxploitation films directed by his longtime friend Arthur Marks: Bucktown and Friday Foster (both 1975). Weathers also appeared in an episode of the 1970s sitcom Good Times entitled "The Nude", portraying an angry husband who suspected his wife of cheating on him with J.J. In 1975, he guest starred in an episode of Kung Fu entitled "The Brothers Caine".
In 1976, he starred alongside Sylvester Stallone in 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 (released in 2006), Sylvester Stallone asked Weathers, Mr. T, and Dolph Lundgren for permission to use footage from their appearances in the earlier Rocky movies. Mr. T and Lundgren agreed, but Weathers wanted an actual part in the movie, even though his character had 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 is briefly seen as an Army MP in one of the three released versions of Close Encounters of the Third Kind (originally released in 1977). In 1978, Weathers portrayed misogynist Vince Sullivan in a TV movie, Not This Time. In the late 1970s and 1980s, Weathers starred in a number of action films for the small and big screen, including Force 10 from Navarone (1978), Predator (1987), Action Jackson (1988), and Hurricane Smith (1992). As a member of the cast of Predator, Weathers worked with future California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and future Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura. Many years later he appeared in a spoof segment on Saturday Night Live, announcing that he was running for political office and urging viewers to vote for him on the basis that "he was the black guy in Predator".
He also appeared in Michael Jackson's "Liberian Girl" music video, and co-starred in the Adam Sandler comedy Happy Gilmore, as Chubbs, a golf legend teaching Happy how to play golf. He reprised the role nearly four years later in the Sandler comedy Little Nicky.
During the final two seasons of In the Heat of the Night, his character of Hampton Forbes replaced Bill Gillespie as the chief of police. Another noted TV role was Sgt. Adam Beaudreaux on the cop show Street Justice. He also played as MACV-SOG Colonel Brewster in the CBS series Tour of Duty.
In 2004, Weathers received a career revival as a comedic actor beginning with appearances in three episodes of the comedy series Arrested Development as a cheapskate caricature of himself, who serves as Tobias Fünke's acting coach. He was then cast in the comedies The Sasquatch Gang and The Comebacks. Weathers had a guest role in two episodes of The Shield as the former training officer of main character Vic Mackey.
Weathers provided the voice for Colonel Samuel Garrett in the Pandemic Studios video game Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction. In 2005, he was a narrator on Conquest! The Price Of Victory - Witness The Journey of the Trojans!, an 18-part television show about USC athletics. Weathers is a principal of Red Tight Media, a film and video production company that specializes in tactical training films made for the United States armed forces. He also appeared in one episode of ER as the father of an injured boxer during their 2008 finale season.
Weathers portrayed the father of Michael Strahan and Daryl "Chill" Mitchell's characters on the short-lived 2009 Fox sitcom Brothers.
Weathers is currently acting as Brian "Gebo" Fitzgerald in advertising for Old Spice's sponsorship of NASCAR driver Tony Stewart. He also appears in an ongoing series of web-only advertisements for Credit Union of Washington, dispensing flowers and the advice that "change is beautiful" to puzzled-looking bystanders. He is also starring in a series of commercials for Bud Light, in which he introduces plays from the "Bud Light Playbook". At the conclusion of each commercial, Weathers can be seen bursting through the Bud Light Playbook and shouting "Here we go!".
Outside of acting, Weathers is a member of both Big Brothers and the United States Olympic Committee. In February 1973, he married Mary Ann Castle, with whom he has two sons, Jason and Matthew. They were divorced in July 1983. In February 1984, he married Rhona Unsell. He married Jennifer Peterson, his third wife, in 2007. They divorced in 2009.
The Four Deuces
Taxi Cab Driver
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Bermuda Depths
Force 10 from Navarone
Sundog / George Washington Lincoln Brown
Lieutenant Harry Braker
The Defiant Ones
Major George Dillon
Sgt. / Lt. Jericho "Action" Jackson
Billy "Hurricane" Smith
Gen. Mike Rodgers
Shadow Warriors: Assault on Devil's Island
Shadow Warriors 2: Hunt for the Death Merchant
Eight Crazy Nights
GNC Water Bottle
Balto III: Wings of Change
The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang
Dr. Artimus Snodgrass
Episode: "The Nude"
Episode: "The Brothers Caine"
Quinn Martin's Tales of the Unexpected
Episode: "A Hand For Sonny Blue"
Tour of Duty
Colonel Carl Brewster
In the Heat of the Night
Police Chief Hampton Forbes
Episodes: "Public Relations",
"The B. Team"
Episode: "Viagra Falls"
God of Basketball
Episodes: "Slam Dunk",
Toy Story of Terror
Mortal Kombat X
Voice and likeness
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license