Tony Burton, who starred in the Rocky films as the legendary trainer of both Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa, has died.
The actor appeared in all seven of the films in the franchise – including a fleeting flashback, using stock footage from an earlier film, in the most recent incarnation Creed.
Mr Burton played Tony ‘Duke’ Evers – a no-nonsense trainer who in the first two films supported Apollo Creed, Balboa’s opponent.
In the later films he became the trainer to Balboa, famously played by Sylvester Stallone, helping him defeat foes such as Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago.
The actor – a native of Flint, Michigan – won Flint Golden Gloves light heavyweight titles in 1955 and again in 1957, before fighting professionally briefly.
Co-star Carl Weathers took to Twitter to pay tribute, writing: ”Sad news. RIP Tony Burton. His intensity and talent helped make the Rocky movies successful. #BePeace (sic).”
His former classmate Gerald Moore added: ”It’s just like someone in my own family passed. Whenever we got together we would reminisce on old times.”