Alex Karras, who was a beast of a NFL defensive tackle before becoming the lovable dad on the hit TV show Webster, died Wednesday at the age of 77.
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.
He was part of current lawsuit against the NFL claiming that the league didn’t do enough to educate or warn about concussions. Karras believed his dementia came from hits he sustained during his rugged career.
He was perhaps more well known nationally as the father of the title character (Emmanuel Lewis) on Webster. Karras also gained initial fame in Hollywood for punching out a horse in the comedic film Blazing Saddles.
Karras wife on Webster was his wife in real life, Susan Clark.