Farewell, Duke: Rocky Star Tony Burton Dies at 78

The actor played Apollo Creed's trainer in the first six films.

Another Hollywood veteran is gone. Tony Burton, a prolific actor who appeared in The Shining, Stir Crazy and the first six Rocky films as Apollo Creed's trainer Duke, passed away. He was 78.
Burton's Rocky co-star Carl Weathers, who played Creed, tweeted the news on Thursday night:

According to, Burton was in the hospital for the past year but never received an official diagnosis. Sadly, Burton wasn't able to see Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler's Creed as he was too ill. 
Before turning to acting, the Flint, Michigan, native boxed professionally and won Flint Golden Gloves light heavyweight titles in 1955 and 1957. Undoubtedly, there will be some kind of tribute to the actor at Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler's Oscar night party in his hometown.

(Photo: Albert L. Ortega/WireImage) is your No. 1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music. 

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers) and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. You understand that you can unsubscribe at any time.