Alex Karras, former NFL lineman, actor, dies at 77
By LARRY LAGE | Associated Press – 44 mins ago
DETROIT (AP) — Alex Karras was one of the NFL's most feared defensive tackles throughout the 1960s, a player who hounded quarterbacks and bulled past opposing linemen.
And yet, to many people he will always be the lovable dad from the 1980s sitcom "Webster" or the big cowboy who famously punched out a horse in "Blazing Saddles."
The rugged player, who anchored the Detroit Lions' defense and then made a successful transition to an acting career, with a stint along the way as a commentator on "Monday Night Football," died Wednesday. He was 77.
Karras had recently suffered kidney failure and been diagnosed with dementia. The Lions also said he had suffered from heart disease and, for the last two years, stomach cancer. He died at home in Los Angeles surrounded by family members, said Craig Mitnick, Karras' attorney.
"Perhaps no player in Lions history attained as much success and notoriety for what he did after his playing days as did Alex," Lions president Tom Lewand said.
Oh man, it's like losing Bubba Smith all over again. He and Alex were an inspiration to me as great defensive players. As a kid who played defensive end, I dreamed of being a big name like these guys. I saw every movie and sitcom they were in. R.I.P.