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Tony Burton, most famous for his role as Tony “Duke” Evers, the trainer of both Apollo Creed and later Rocky Balboa in the Rocky franchise, has died aged 78, according to reports on TMZ.

While his cause of death is currently unknown, Burton’s sister, Loretta Kelly, said that he had regularly been in hospital over the past year, according to the BBC.

She added he had not received a diagnosis in that time but his health was so poor he had not been able to see recent spin-off film Creed.

Carl Weathers, Burton’s co-star throughout the Rocky films, took to Twitter to comment on reports of his passing.

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

Burton’s last role was as Sheriff Stoker in the 2007 horror film Hack!

Tony Burton, “Rocky” Star Who Trained Rocky & Apollo Creed, Dies Aged 78  was originally published on