Tony Burton dead: Rocky actor who played trainer in films dies aged 78

Burton played Apollo Creed and Rocky's trainer in six of the Rocky films

 

Tony Burton, an actor who starred alongside Sylvester Stallone in the Rocky movies, has reportedly died aged 78. 

Burton was born in Flint, Michigan and launched a light heavyweight boxing career before breaking into acting with his role as trainer Tony “Duke” Evers, who eventually becomes Rocky's trainer in the first six Rocky films.

His death was confirmed by his younger sister Loretta “Peaches” Kelley, according to the local news site Michigan Live. He was hospitalised repeatedly in the last year but it is not known what was causing him to be ill. 

Kelley said he did not get to see Creed, the 2015 film focusing on the son of Apollo Creed, because of his declining health in the last year. 

“There's a scene in the restaurant of that movie (Creed) where his picture is on the wall,” Kelley told ML. “We didn't talk about (Rocky) a lot. I mean we were excited, but other people were more excited."

Actors and MGM studios paid tribute to Burton's talent on Friday.  

Burton died in California, where he had been living for the past 30 years.

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