Actor Tony Burton, who starred alongside Sylvester Stallone in six ‘Rocky’ films, has died at the age of 78. According to his sister Loretta Kelley the star had been in and out of hospital over the last year and sadly passed away in California on last Thursday, 24 February 2016.
Burton played Tony “Duke” Evers, who was the trainer of both Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed. He was one of just four actors to have starred in all six of the first series of Rocky films.
The actor was born in Flint, Michigan, and fought as a professional boxer in the late 1950’s. Burton was a skilled boxer and was crowned Michigan Golden Gloves heavyweight champion.
His acting career also saw him take on key roles in ‘Stir Crazy’ and ‘The Shining’. It is understood that Burton’s ill health meant that he did not get to see the most recent Rocky film, ‘Creed’, which has earned Stallone a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination.
Carl Weathers, who played Creed, is among those who has paid tribute to the actor. He took to twitter to state “Sad news. RIP Tony Burton. His intensity and talent helped make the Rocky movies successful. #BePeace”.
Sylvester Stallone has also paid homage to Burton by posting an image of himself alongside him, with the caption “Tony Burton who played the character of Duke brilliantly in all six Rocky movies… Rest in peace”.
His IMDB profile says that he was due to fulfil a role in ‘The Truth About the War in Heaven: Declaration of War’, but it is unknown how far in to the production the film is.
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