Alex Karras, an All-Pro defensive lineman who went on to even greater fame as an actor, died Wednesday morning at his Los Angeles home. He was 77.
Craig Mitnick, Karras' attorney, said Karras was surrounded by family.
Karras had been suffering from dementia and it was announced Tuesday that his kidneys were failing.
He was chosen 10th overall by the Detroit Lions in 1958 out of Iowa and was a four-time All-Pro defensive tackle over 12 seasons with the team.
Karras' best-known roles were as the dad in the 1980s sitcom “Webster,” and as Mongo in the Mel Brooks comedy "Blazing Saddles," in which he memorably punched a horse and later uttered the classic line, "Mongo only pawn in game of life."
In the 1980s, he played a sheriff in the raunchy comedy “Porky's” and starred as Emmanuel Lewis' adoptive father, George Papadapolis, in “Webster.”