Actor Tony Burton, who starred as Tony “Duke” Evers in the Rocky franchise, has died at 78.

MGM Studios and his co-star Carl Weathers confirmed the news in tweets of condolence on Friday.


Tony’s sister Loretta Kelley told Michigan’s MLive that he had died at his California home on Thursday afternoon after being in hospital several times in the last year.

He is best known for his role as Apollo Creed’s trainer Duke in Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky franchise and appeared in the first six films.

Tony BurtonTony Burton starred as Apollo Creed’s trainer Duke in the films (Picture Perfect/REX)

The Flint-born actor began his career as a heavyweight boxer and reportedly won two Flint Golden Gloves light heavyweight titles before briefly boxing professionally.

Tony also starred in The Shining and had guest roles in TV shows such as Twin Peaks and Lou Ferrigno’s The Incredible Hulk.