Former Detroit Lions All-Pro lineman turned successful actor, Alex Karras, has died. Karras, 77, suffered from a number of maladies such as stomach cancer, kidney and heart disease, and dementia; the latter being the reason why the controversial football great was part of a lawsuit involving 3,500 former footballers against the NFL in relation to the long term damage caused by repeated blows to the head in the course of their careers.
To current generations, Karras’ football career is overshadowed by his acting career which began in 1968. In the 70’s, Karras guest starred on a number of popular shows of the day including “M*A*S*H,” “McMillan and Wife,” and the campy “Love American Style.” But it was his star turn as patriarch George Papadopolis in the Emmanuel Lewis driven sitcom “Webster” from 1983 to 1989. Other star turns as an actor include “Mongo” in the cult classic, “Blazing Saddles,” and the gay lover to Robert Preston in the mega-hit film “Victor Victoria.”
Karras is survived by his wife of 32 years, Susan Clark, a daughter Katherine, and numerous close family members. Learn more about the life and career of this legendary footballer and actor by following this link.