An actor who played Rocky Balboa’s coach in six “Rocky” movies, Tony Burton, has died. However, the cause of death has been not clarified yet. The actor’s sister, Loretta Kelly, stated that Burton had health issues for the last few years. The 78-year-old was hospitalized several times within one year.
Still he never received a diagnosis despite obvious health problems that led to stay-at-home regime. Due to this, a former “Rocky” star could not see the latest part of the movie “Creed.” However, Burton did appear in the film due to usage of a footage of one of the previous “Rocky” movies.
Tony Burton played a coach Tony “Duke” Evers, who at first trained Rocky Balboa’s opponent Apollo Creed. In the next “Rocky” films, Evers became Balboa’s trainer and mentor. Burton’s acting career included roles in “Shining,” “Stir Crazy,” “Twin Peaks,” “The A-team,” “NYPD Blue” and “Kojak.”
Originally from Flint, Michigan, Tony Burton was a former boxer, who won Flint Golden Gloves in 1955 and 1957. After that, he quit professional boxing career.
Burton’s last appearance on the big screen was a part in a 2007 horror comedy “Hack!” where he played Sheriff Stocker. He was also eager to start new projects, so he signed up to take part in “The Truth about the War in Heaven: Declaration of War”, according to IMDb. However, the production of this film has not started so far.
Fellow actors responded to the sad news. Burton’s colleague Carl Weathers made a post in his Twitter. He wrote that Tony’s talent and passion really spiced up the Rocky saga and his death is a big loss. Gerald Moore, the actor’s school friend, said that losing Tony Burton is like losing a family member, someone so close to cherish the old times.