Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Alex Karras

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.

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