Actor Tony Burton who starred in Rocky films dies at age 78

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Tony Burton

HIGHLAND, California (February 26, 2016) — Tony Burton, who starred in the Rocky films as the legendary trainer of both Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa, has died at the age of 78.

The actor appeared in all seven of the Rocky films  including a fleeting flashback, using stock footage from an earlier film, in the most recent incarnation Creed.

Burton played Tony ‘Duke’ Evers – a grizzled, no-nonsense trainer who in the first two films supported Apollo Creed, Balboa’s opponent.

In the later films he became the trainer to Balboa, famously played by Sylvester Stallone, helping him defeat foes such as Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago.

The actor – a native of Flint, Michigan – won Flint Golden Gloves light heavyweight titles in 1955 and again in 1957, before fighting professionally briefly.

His sister, Loretta Kelley, told media sources that Burton had been in and out of the hospital lately for an undisclosed illness, and due to his ongoing health problems hadn’t been able to see the last Rocky film, Creed.

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