Alex Karras: 1935-2012

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Alex Karras: 1935-2012

Alex Karras, NFL lineman-turned-actor, died today at the age of 77. After suffering kidney failure, Karras died at his home in Los Angeles.

Karras was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1958 after a stellar career at the University of Iowa and went on to become a four-time All-Pro defensive tackle during his 12-year career. Following his athletic career, Karras made a seamless transition to the acting world, starring in several movies and television series.

Perhaps most famously known for his role in Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles, Karras portrayed Mongo, the intimidating cowboy who punched a horse and delivered the iconic line, “Mongo only pawn in game of life.”