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Published On: Wed, Oct 10th, 2012

‘Webster’ dad, football star Alex Karras dies from illness at age 77

Alex Karras, a hulking giant with a puckish personality who starred on the football field for the Detroit Lions and later in the television sitcom “Webster,” died on Wednesday at the age of 77, his attorney said.

Mongo (Alex Karras) punches a horse in “Blazing Saddles” photo Warner Bros

Karras had been suffering from kidney failure, dementia, heart disease and cancer in recent years, his family said.

”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.

Born in Gary, Indiana, Karras starred for four years at Iowa. Detroit drafted Karras with the 10th overall pick in 1958 and he was a four-time All-Pro defensive tackle over 12 seasons with the franchise.

Playing a not-so-bright bruiser in Mel Brooks’ ”Blazing Saddles,” he not only slugged a horse but also delivered the classic line: ”Mongo only pawn in game of life.”

In the 1980s, he played a sheriff in the comedy ”Porky’s” and became a hit on the small screen as Emmanuel Lewis’ adoptive father, George Papadapolis, in the sitcom ”Webster.”

”This physical beating that he took as a football player has impacted his life, and therefore it has impacted his family life,” his wife Susan Clark told The Associated Press earlier this year. ”He is interested in making the game of football safer and hoping that other families of retired players will have a healthier and happier retirement.”

Alex Karras as Sheriff Wallace in “Porky’s”

The Cast of “Webster” featuring Alex Karras and his real life and onscreen wife Susan Clark

 

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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