CULT FACTION

For all your cult film, tv, cartoon, comic and video game needs

Tony Burton passes away aged 78 years old

It is Cult Faction’s sad duty to report that Tony Burton, aka Tony “Duke” Evers from the Rocky movies has passed away at the age of 78 years old.

In the Rocky films, Burton’s character Tony “Duke” Evers was initially the trainer to Rocky’s rival Apollo Creed (played by Carl Weathers)  in the original 1976 movie and its 1979 sequel. After Rocky loses to Clubber Lang (Mr T) in Rocky 3, Creed and Evers help retrain Rocky for his comeback. Then, following Creed’s death in 1985’s Rocky IV, Evers became a permanent member of Team Rocky concluding with 2006’s Rocky Balboa.

Rocky was not Burton’s first brush with boxing. He won the Flint Golden Gloves light heavyweight championship in 1955 and 1957. Also, Burton won the State Golden Gloves Light Heavyweight Championship in 1957 and lost in the Chicago Tournament of Champions semi-finals. He fought as a professional boxer in 1958 and 1959. During that time he was knocked out by knockout artist Lamar Clark who holds the record for most consecutive knockouts at 44.

Life after boxing minus any marketable skills or a high school diploma proved a poor formula for success, and before long, Burton wound up in prison, doing three and a half years for robbery at the California Institution for Men in Chino, California. In the end, it proved a valuable experience as Burton recounted to NEA’s Frank Sanello in March 1988:

Prison for me was productive because I got my high school diploma and a degree from the University of California. But most important, I got myself together and found out who I was and how I could proceed without destroying myself.

More specifically, one of the skills acquired at Chino landed Burton his current wife, Rae, whom he met on a TV repair house call. Moreover, a workshop in the prison that used psychodrama as a form of therapy pointed Burton towards his acting career, when an emotional breakthrough achieved by one of his partners in an acting exercise demonstrated dramatically theater’s potential power, on both sides of the footlights.

After prison, Burton started getting work with small theater companies in and around Los Angeles, garnering favorable notices early on.

A life member of the Actors Studio, Burton appeared in The Black Godfather (1974), Trackdown (1976), The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976), Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), Beyond Reason (1977), Heroes (1977), Blackjack (1978), The Shining (1980), The Hunter (1980), Stir Crazy (1980), Inside Moves (1980), Armed and Dangerous (1986), Side Out (1990), Hook (1991), House Party 2 (1991), Shade (2003), Exorcism (2003) and Hack! (2007).

Burton appeared as Colonel Riley in Twin Peaks and made other small screen appearances in Renegade, The Lot, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Life Goes On, A Different World, The Fall Guy, The A-Team, T.J. Hooker and The Greatest American Hero amongst others.

He retired from acting in 2007, the year after his final Rocky movie.

Sadly, Burton’s sister, Loretta “Peaches” Kelley,  informed the BBC that he never got to see the Rocky spin-off Creed, due to frequent illnesses over the last year. Burton never received an official diagnosis, but he had been in and out of the hospital.

Related Posts
WWE spoofs Twin Peaks!

Last night on WWE Smackdown Live a Twin Peaks parody came out of nowhere: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xayP9ErP5Nw What did you think?

Twin Peaks: The Return – Full Review

It’s happened again! It’s been a long night here at Cult Faction. After much hype Twin Peaks returned and... It was everything a Twin Peaks fan wanted, funny, clever, and Read more

Twin Peaks’ Jeremy Lindholm arrested on attempted murder charges

Actor Jeremy Lindholm, most recently seen as Mickey in Twin Peaks was arrested Wednesday night on attempted second degree murder charges after beating a woman with a baseball bat. He attempted o Read more

Twin Peaks teaser released!

Showtime have released a new teaser trailer for Twin Peaks. The clip features FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle McLachlan): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdnwXiwnDaM But how's Annie?

Twin Peaks returns in May 2017!

That gum we like is finally back in style! Showtime have revealed that Twin Peaks will return with a two hour premiere on May 21st 2017! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjKZzKLpNII Once the premiere airs Read more

Twin Peaks Official VR Game trailer released

Crafted with countless references to the series and its 30 year history, TWIN PEAKS VR combines the supernatural, adventure, and escape room genres, challenging players to solve puzzles and discover Read more

Twin Peaks – Season 3: What we have learned so far…

At 2am on Monday the 22nd of May I raised my cup of Damn Fine Coffee and re-entered the realm of Twin Peaks. There was a deep humming noise. There Read more

The X-Files Season 1 Ep. 1: Pilot

It has been twenty-eight years since The X-Files first graced our screens and now with all the episodes hitting Disney+ I figured it might be time to revisit a televison Read more

The Crib Sheet: Twin Peaks (Seasons 1 and 2)

The Crib Sheet – Twin Peaks (1990) Welcome to The Crib Sheet – your essential guide to cult television shows! The aim of The Crib Sheet is for you to print Read more

Founded Cult Faction in 2014. Some would describe him as a teacher, writer, dream weaver, and visionary... some would not...

%d bloggers like this: