Alex Karras

By LARRY LAGE AP Sports Writer
DETROIT October 10, 2012 (AP)

Alex Karras, the rugged lineman who anchored the Detroit Lions' defense in the 1960s, then went on to an acting career in which he starred in the sitcom "Webster" and famously punched a horse in the 1974 comedy "Blazing Saddles," died Wednesday. He was 77.

Karras, who had recently suffered kidney failure, died at home in Los Angeles surrounded by family members, said Craig Mitnick, Karras' attorney.

Diagnosed with dementia, Karras in April joined the more than 3,500 former NFL players suing the league for not protecting them better from head injuries, immediately becoming one of the best-known names in the legal fight. FULL STORY HERE

Longtime Detroit Lions fans remember Alex Karras as one of the most dominating defensive linemen of his generation.Movie buffs will never forget the scene from "Blazing Saddles" in which he knocked out a horse with one punch.

Karras has lived his life on the edge, but died today from kidney failure while under hospice care at his home in California.

The Detroit Free Press and Detroit News reported the former All-Pro defensive lineman and actor had been given only a few days to live because of recent kidney failure.

Alexander George "Alex" Karras (July 15, 1935 – October 10, 2012), nicknamed "The Mad Duck", was an American football player, professional wrestler, and actor.

He played football with the Detroit Lions in the National Football League from 1958–1962 and 1964–1970. As an actor, Karras is noted for his role as the thuggish Mongo in the 1974 comedy film Blazing Saddles, and for starring in the ABC sitcom Webster (1983–87) alongside his wife Susan Clark, as the title character's adoptive father. Read More on Wiki

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