16
Jul
2019

Former boxer, Rocky star Tony ‘throw the damn towel!’ Burton dies

Phil Jay 26/02/2016
Tony Burton

📸 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Actor Tony Burton, famous for his role as Apollo Creed’s trainer in the Rocky movie franchise, died on Thursday in California.

Actor Tony Burton, famous for his role as Apollo Creed’s trainer in the Rocky movie franchise, died on Thursday in California.

An iconic figure on the silver screen, Burton lost his battle with a year-long illness and passed away aged 78 years.

Burton was famous for his immortal line, ‘throw the dam towel’ from Rocky IV as his character Duke Evers urged Balboa, then training Creed, to end a fatal exhibition fight with Russian powerhouse Ivan Drago.

Co-star Carl Weathers, who played Creed, wrote a short tribute to Burton on Twitter when hearing the news.

“Sad news. RIP Tony Burton. His intensity and talent helped make the Rocky movies successful,” said Weathers.

BOXER

Originally from Flint, Michigan, Burton was himself an accomplished boxer – having won his hometown’s Golden Gloves tournament twice in the 1950’s. At the age of 20, Burton turned professional winning four fights from eight before switching to acting full-time.

Starring in the first six Rocky movies, Burton only appeared in new spin-off ‘Creed’ briefly as the movie looked back. Whilst sister Loretta Kelley spoke about Burton’s most famous role to local news source Mlive.com, saying: “There’s a scene in the restaurant of that movie (Creed) where his picture is on the wall.

‘We didn’t talk about (Rocky) a lot. I mean we were excited, but other people were more excited. Whenever he would come home other people would just come over,” she stated.

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