Webster Dad and NFL-er Alex Karras Is Dead at 77

Alex Karras, the man who spent part of his life playing the most violent of sports and then went on to portray one of the gentlest father figures on television, has passed away at the age of 77. Karras died today of kidney failure in his Los Angeles home.

Karras lived two lives in entertainment; he's best known in the TV world for his role as father George Papadapolis on Webster. He co-starred alongside his real-life wife Susan Clark in the 1980s sitcom, in which he played the adoptive father of the titular character, played by Emmanuel Lewis. Karras also appeared on M*A*S*H and The Odd Couple, and in the films Victor Victoria and Porky's. But to me, he'll always be Mongo, the dim-witted, horse-punching oaf from Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles.

Before his acting career, Karras laid people out on the football field. Following a collegiate career at the University of Iowa, Karras played defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions for 12 seasons beginning in 1958. He also found himself in the booth of Monday Night Football in the 1970s.

Karras had suffered from dementia in recent years, and was part of the April lawsuit against the NFL by former players over concussion-related injuries.

Here's Karras as Mongo in Blazing Saddles. Warning: NSFW language


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"If you shoot him you'll just make him mad."



Sorry to hear about this. He seemed like a really nice guy. Condolences to his family.
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Noooooo! Not Mongo!!!
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He hosted "Saturday Night Live" one time. It was during the 1984-85 season. He did a great job on the show. In my opinion the most memorable sketch of his appearance was as part of a rap duo named A Couple of White Guys. Karras performed the rap with Jim Belushi. The Monday after it aired I heard people in the hallways at school singing "We're white men! And we take no crap when we deliver our white rap"! Great sketch. RIP Alex.
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Not to forget as Hans "Potato" Brumbaugh on James A Michener's "Centennial" (1978-79)

RIP Alex Karras
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Aww I remember him, the hot mustached dad from Webster. And he was so good in Blazing Saddles Victor/Victoria. RIP Mr Karras
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