Former Detroit Lions star Alex Karras dies

All-Pro defensive tackle suffered kidney failure Brad Biggs

Print This October 10, 2012, 11:54 AM EST

Former Detroit Lions All-Pro defensive tackle Alex Karras has died. He was 77.

Karras passed away at his Los Angeles home, according to the Los Angeles Times, shortly after suffering kidney failure. Following a 12-year career in the NFL, Karras turned to acting, playing the role of Mongo in the 1974 Mel Brooks hit “Blazing Saddles.” He starred in the sitcom “Webster” during the 1980’s.

Karras was suspended for the 1963 season for his association with gambling. He did a little work as a professional wrestler and was an early analyst on ABC’s “Monday Night Football.” Perhaps no player is more associated with the history of the Lions than Karras.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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