Actor Tony Burton has died at the age of 78.
Tony Burton is best known for his appearances in six Rocky movies opposite Sylvester Stallone.
The cause of death is not known but Tony Burton’s sister, Loretta Kelly, said he had regularly been in hospital over the past year.
Loretta Kelly 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.
The character supported Apollo Creed, Rocky Balboa’s opponent, in the first two boxing films before later becoming the trainer to Balboa himself.
Before becoming an actor, Tony Burton – who was from Flint, Michigan – briefly fought professionally and won Flint Golden Gloves light heavyweight titles in 1955 and again in 1957.
Tony Burton is seen briefly in Creed, but only as part of a flashback which used stock footage from an earlier movie.
In addition to appearing in the Rocky Films, Tony Burton also appeared in The Shining and Stir Crazy.
His last role was Sheriff Stoker in comedy-horror Hack! released in 2007.
According to IMDb, Tony Burton had signed up to appear in The Truth About the War in Heaven: Declaration of War, but the film has not yet gone into production.
Tony Burton also appeared in TV productions as The A-Team, NYPD Blue, Kojak and Twin Peaks.