Alex Karras, whose career with the Detroit Lions would come to be overshadowed by his starring roles in film and on TV's Webster, is dead today at the age of 77 after suffering kidney failure.
Karras was a superb defensive lineman whose career at Iowa earned him induction to the College Football Hall of Fame, but it's his post-football career as an actor that made him a household name. Karras's role as Mongo in Blazing Saddles established him as a comedic actor, something he parlayed into six seasons as George Papadapolis on the sitcom Webster.
Karras was suspended from the NFL in 1963 for betting on games, and used his time off to moonlight as a professional wrestler. He would go on to make the Pro Bowl four times and be NFL All-Pro at defensive tackle another four years. The Pro Football Hall of Fame named him to the All-Decade team for the 1960s.
More recently, Karras filed suit against the NFL claiming the league failed to protect him from multiple concussions that left him with dementia.