On June 9, the new documentary "40 Years of Rocky" debuts on digital platforms. Star and screenwriter Sylvester Stallone narrates the doc, which tells the behind-the-scenes story of the making of "Rocky," the 1976 classic that won three Oscars — including best picture. The look back has inspired us to check up on all of the veteran boxer's foes over the years, as well as the bad guys in the "Creed" spinoffs. What are the "Rocky" franchise's villains up to today? Keep reading to find out…
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Carl Weathers took on the role of boxer Apollo Creed in "Rocky" through "Rocky IV."
Unlike many "Rocky" villains, Carl Weathers wasn't actually a fighter! He was an actor and a former football player. After his character passed away in "Rocky IV," he continued acting, scoring roles in films like 1987's "Predator," 1988's "Action Jackson" and 1996's "Happy Gilmore." He continues to act to this day, most recently appearing on USA Network's "Colony" in 2016 and NBC's "Chicago P.D." and "Chicago Justice" in 2017. In 2019, Carl starred on the first season of Disney+'s "The Mandalorian." The actor has two children with ex-wife Mary Ann.
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Mr. T portrayed Clubber Lang, a terrifying and ruthless fighter, in "Rocky III."
Mr. T (real name is Laurence Tureaud) followed up his success in "Rocky III" with a role on the popular television series "The A-Team." He often popped up on other '80s and '90s shows as himself including "Diff'rent Strokes," "Silver Spoons," "Alvin and the Chipmunks," "Blossom" and "Out of This World." He also enjoyed a few more film roles, including a part as himself in 1999's "Inspector Gadget" and a voice role in "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" in 2009. He ventured into reality TV in 2006 with his TV Land show "I Pity the Fool," though it only lasted six episodes. He also competed on "Dancing With the Stars" in 2017. The born-again Christian has three children: daughters Lesa and Erika and son Laurence Tureaud Jr.
In "Rocky III," Hulk Hogan tried his hand at acting, taking on the character Thunderlips, who wasn't too far off from his real-life wrestling persona. He battled Rocky in a charity wrestling match in the flick.
Hulk Hogan (real name: Terry Bollea) was already well-known as one of the most popular wrestlers of the '80s before signing on to "Rocky III." Though it was his first film, it wasn't his last. He went on to star in movies like 1989's "No Holds Barred," 1991's "Suburban Commando" and 1993's "Mr. Nanny." He made his way to the small screen on the show "Thunder in Paradise" in 1993 and did a stint on reality television on his family's VH1 show, "Hogan Knows Best," in the '00s with then-wife Linda and their children, Brooke and Nick, though he and Linda would separate a few years later in 2007. In 2008, he hosted a revamped version of "American Gladiators" and found love again, marrying Jennifer McDaniel in 2010. More recently, Hulk served as a judge on WWE's reality series "Tough Enough" in 2015 — the same year he was booted from the organization (he claimed he resigned) after an old recording of him using racial slurs resurfaced. He apologized and in 2018 made a TV return to the WWE; he's appeared on "WWE Raw" and "WWE Smackdown!" in the years since. He also made headlines in 2016 when a jury awarded him $140 million after he sued Gawker for publishing a sex tape in which he did not know he was being filmed.
Dolph Lundgren's breakout role came in 1985 when he starred as Ivan Drago, a brutal Soviet fighter and Olympic gold medalist who becomes Rocky's opponent in "Rocky IV." So what's Dolph up to these days?
"Rocky IV" turned Swedish actor and martial artist Dolph Lundgren into a movie star, paving the way for a successful career in action flicks. The former Fulbright Scholar, who has a master's degree in chemical engineering and attended MIT, played iconic action characters He-Man in 1987's "Masters of the Universe" and Frank Castle in 1989's "The Punisher." In 1994, he married Anette Qviberg, with whom he shares two daughters, Ida Sigrid and Greta Eveline. (They split in 2011.) He continued to work steadily throughout the '90s and '00s and over the last decade has popped up in projects including the "Expendables" films and 2018's "Aquaman." Dolph reprised the role that made him famous, Ivan Drago, in 2018's "Creed II."
Ludmilla Drago, Ivan Drago's wife, was equally cruel, calm and collected in "Rocky IV." She was played by Danish actress Brigitte Nielsen.
Brigitte Nielsen was best known as a model before she played Ludmilla Drago in "Rocky IV" and starred in "Red Sonja," both in 1985, and afterward, she was best known for a string of B-movies and, later, a reality TV career. Though she wasn't in many box office hits, her personal life was always in the tabloids. She wed co-star Sylvester Stallone in 1985, the same year "Rocky IV" was released. She'd previously been married to Kasper Winding, with whom she had son Julian. She and Sly split after 19 months; Brigitte then had son Killian with NFL star fiancé Mark Gastineau. She went on to marry director Sebastian Copeland and fourth husband Raoul Meyer in the early '90s and welcomed two more sons, Douglas and Raoul Jr. After an unexpected romance with rapper-turned-"Surreal Life" star Flavor Flav in the mid-aughts while she was in the thick of her own reality TV career, Brigitte — who's battled alcoholism — married Mattia Dessi in 2006. She welcomed her fifth child — and first with Mattia — at age 54 in 2018, daughter Frida. Brigitte reprised her character Ludmilla in 2018's "Creed II."
In 1990's "Rocky V," Tommy Gunn — played by Tomy Morison — went from Rocky's protege to his nemesis after leaving for another manager. The two came to blows in a back-alley fight where — you guessed it — Rocky emerged victorious.
Tommy Morrison was a professional boxer in real life too, not just on the big screen in "Rocky V." His boxing career came to an end in the '90s when he tested positive for HIV and was suspended from the sport. Tommy, who for years refused to treat his disease, attempted to get back into boxing a few times in the '00s but was unsuccessful. He passed away in 2013 at 44.
Mason "The Line" Dixon was played by Antonio Tarver in the 2006 installment "Rocky Balboa." The character stepped up to fight Rocky, who'd decided to come out of retirement.
Just like his "Rocky" franchise character, Antonio Tarver was a professional boxer by trade. Before hitting the big screen, he competed in the 1996 Olympics and won a bronze medal. Since his stint in the "Rocky" franchise, Antonio — who's held multiple light heavyweight world champtionship titles — hasn't competed much. He continued to box professionally until 2012, when he failed a drug test, and stepped back from a pro career in 2015. He's since worked as a boxing commentator as well as a promoter in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area with his company Signature Punch Boxing. He also trains and manages fighters including his son, Antonio Tarver Jr.
English boxer Tony Bellew played world light heavyweight champion "Pretty" Ricky Conlan in 2015's "Creed." His character fought Michael B. Jordan's Adonis "Donnie" Johnson aka Adonis Creed, the late Apollo Creed's illegitimate son, who was trained by Rocky Balboa.
Tony Bellew officially retired from boxing in late 2018 after holding the WBC cruiserweight title from 2016 to 2017. In 2020, the married father of three was a fan favorite as he competed on but was ultimately eliminated from the British quasi-military training reality competition show "Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins."
Romanian boxer Florian Munteanu played Viktor Drago, the son of Dolph Lundgren's Ivan Drago, who fought Michael B. Jordan's Adonis Creed in 2018's "Creed II."
German-born Romanian boxer Florian Munteanu aka "Big Nasty" has also worked as a fitness model. He continues to train in Europe but hasn't made another film since 2018's "Creed II."