Carl Weathers, known for his iconic roles in “Rocky” and “Predator,” faced an unexpected injury that left a lasting impact on his life.
Despite his tough image on-screen, it was a stunt in the comedy film “Happy Gilmore” that caused him significant pain and complications. So, did it result in him losing his hand?
No, Carl Weathers didn’t actually lose his hand in real life. In the 1996 film Happy Gilmore, his character Chubbs Peterson lost his hand after an unfortunate encounter with an alligator. However, during a stunt for the film, he experienced a “blind fall” into stunt bags, resulting in severe spine compression. He initially kept it secret but later endured vertebral fractures. He underwent excruciating pain for nearly three years before it subsided.
Did Carl Weathers Ever Lose His Hand? How Did That Even Happen?
For years, Carl Weathers portrayed strong and resilient characters, including Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” franchise and Dillon in “Predator.”
He transitioned from a brief stint in professional football to a successful acting career. However, it was his portrayal of Chubbs Peterson in “Happy Gilmore” (1996) that would change his life forever.
In this memorable Adam Sandler comedy, Weathers played the role of Chubbs Peterson, a golf coach with a wooden hand.
Chubbs had to retire from playing golf after an unfortunate encounter with an alligator that resulted in the loss of his hand. So he didn’t lose his hand in real life. However, a stunt did go awry for him.
While filming a stunt for the movie, Weathers endured significant pain and suffering. He described the stunt in a GQ interview as a “blind fall” into two stunt bags, and it didn’t go as planned.
“My body got trapped, my head on the bags, and my tailbone at the wall, and so it just would crunch on the spine.”
Despite the excruciating experience, Weathers initially kept the injury to himself. However, the incident led to further complications, including fractures in two vertebrae. Carl explained:
“I didn’t know it until years later, but I fractured two vertebrae, and osteophytes grew out and connected, and it did a kind of self-fuse in a really bad place. There were three or four years there where I was just in excruciating pain.”
He endured the pain for nearly three years before deciding to undergo surgery. He recalled a surgeon advising against any operation, stating, “You don’t want us to touch that. We can only make it worse.”
Eventually, he found relief. Weathers said:
“After maybe the fourth year, it all started to calm down. Now, for about two-and-a-half years, almost three years, no serious pain. I’m glad not to be experiencing what I was experiencing. It was debilitating.”
Carl Weathers’ injury from the “Happy Gilmore” stunt had a lasting impact on his life, but he continued to pursue his acting career. His final role before his passing was as Greef Karga in “The Mandalorian,” a character he portrayed for three seasons of the show.
Weathers’ legacy in film, television, and sports left an indelible mark on audiences across generations.
Carl Weathers passed away on February 1, 2024. His cause of death remains undisclosed, but his family released a statement confirming that he peacefully passed away in his sleep.
Despite his challenging journey, Carl Weathers remains a beloved figure. His contributions to the entertainment industry and his memorable performances will be remembered by fans worldwide.
What other iconic roles of Carl Weathers did you love? What are some of your favorite Carl Weathers moments from his acting career?
Let us know in the comments below.