Tony Burton, “Duke” from the Rocky franchise, passes away

You might not know his real name but you definitely know his on-screen name and character.

Tony Burton, who played Tony “Duke” Evers in the the Rocky franchise, passed away in California. He was 78.

Burton, from Flint, Michigan and was a former pro boxer and football player. But his claim to fame came when he secured the role of “Duke” in Rocky, training Rocky’s rival and later best friend, Apollo Creed. After training Apollo in the first two movies, Duke took over as Rocky’s full-time trainer in Rocky IV (Duke and Apollo both trained Rocky for his rematch against Clubber Lang in Rocky III) after Apollo died at the hands of Ivan Drago (played by Dolph Lundgren), and was one of the primary figures in Rocky’s memorable training scenes in Russia.

“No pain! No pain!”

“Throw the damn towel!”

Classic lines from a classic character.

As expected, many took to twitter to express their condolences. 

His sister, Loretta, confirmed the news on Thursday. Burton had been living with his wife in California for the last 30 years. Their son, Martin, passed away in 2014 at the age of 42. 

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