“Rocky” Cornerman Tony Burton Has Died

“Rocky” corner man Tony Burton died February 25 in Menifee, California as a result of complications from pneumonia at the age of 78.

Starring in the first six “Rocky” movies, Bruton’s health issues prevented him from appearing in the most recent film in the “Rocky” franchise – “Creed”.

While best known for his performances in the “Rocky” movies as trainer and cornerman Duke, Burton appeared in a total of 90 film and television productions. He made his film debut in 1974 in “The Black Godfather”. Burton’s other film appearances include “Assault on Precinct 13”, “Beyond Reason”, “The Shining”, “Stir Crazy”, “Inside Moves”, an uncredited role in “The Toy”, “Armed and Dangerous”, “Hook”, “Exorcism”, and “Hack!”

Burton’s television debut also came in 1974 in an episode of “Kojak”. His television appearances include “The Invisible Man”, “Good Times”, “The Six Million Dollar Man”, “Sanford and Son”, “The Rockford Files”, “The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries”, “The Incredible Hulk”, “The Greatest American Hero”, “ChiPS”, “Quincy M.E.”, “T.J. Hooker”, “The A-Team”, “Moonlighting”, “Airwolf”, “The Fall Guy”, “The Paper Chase”, 22 episodes of “Frank’s Place”, “In the Heat of the Night”, “Twin Peaks”, “NYPD Blue”, and “Chicago Hope”.

He was born Anthony Mabron Burton on March 23, 1937 in Flint, Michigan. While still in high school, Burton was a star halfback on the football team; earning All City and All Valley honours. He was also a star pitcher on the Northern High School baseball team.

Prior to helping “Rocky”, Burton himself was a Golden Gloves champion and professional boxer.

Burton spent three years in a California prison for an armed robbery, but besides completing his education, he discovered a knack for acting.

Predeceased by son Martin, Burton is survived by his wife of 36 years Rae and children Jomo, Juanita, and Christal, and eight siblings.


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