Sad story coming out from Southern California, Alex Karras, former defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions, actor in movies and TV as well as the third-ever analyst on Monday Night Football is near death. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Karras suffered kidney failure two weeks ago and is being cared for at home. Karras is considered one of the best players in Lions history having played from 1958-1970.
In 1974, he joined ABC’s Monday Night Football hastily replacing Fred Williamson who was fired after the preseason. Karras stayed with MNF through the 1976 season.
Karras also had a number of movie and TV roles. Among his most famous roles was playing in “Blazing Saddles.” He played George Papadapolis in the sitcom “Webster” with his wife, Susan Clark. Some of his other movie roles included “Victor Victoria,” “Porky’s” and “Against All Odds.”
Karras has been inducted in the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. As he is in hospice care at home to be joined by his family for his final days, we have a few videos showcasing Alex Karras.
First, here’s Karras being introduced as Mongo in “Blazing Saddles”:
We have Alex in a Schlitz Malt Liquor ad.
Here’s the intro to the 1980′s ABC sitcom, “Webster”
From 1975, here’s a rare animated open for ABC’s Monday Night Football with Howard Cosell, Frank Gifford and Alex Karras.
Finally, this extended clip shows Karras interacting with Howard Cosell from a 1976 MNF game featuring the New York Jets and New England Patriots. Karras and Cosell were certainly having fun in the booth.
I certainly hope that Alex rests comfortably in his final days.