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.
@E_Woodyard@TheSlyStallone Sad news. RIP Tony Burton. His intensity and talent helped make the Rocky movies successful. #BePeace
Carl Weathers (@TheCarlWeathers) February 26, 2016
Rest in Peace, Tony https://t.co/l9pzR65eCc
MGM Studios (@MGM_Studios) February 26, 2016
2016 strikes again! #TonyBurton, who played Apollo Creed’s trainer, has died at 78. #RIP#ThrowTheDamnTowelpic.twitter.com/ijzOoE08GH
Dish Nation (@DishNation) February 26, 2016
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.