Alexander George “Alex” Karras (July 15, 1935 – October 10, 2012), nicknamed “The Mad Duck”, was an American football player, professional wrestler, and actor. He played football with the Detroit Lions in the National Football League from 1958–1962 and 1964–1970. As an actor, Karras is noted for his role as the thuggish Mongo in the 1974 comedy film Blazing Saddles, and for starring in the ABC sitcom Webster (1983–89) alongside his wife Susan Clark, as the title character’s adoptive father.
Before his NFL career got under way, Karras signed a contract as a professional wrestler on December 13, 1957, earning $25,000 during the six-month off-season.
Karras was drafted in the first round of the NFL draft by the Detroit Lions in 1958. He quickly became one of the dominant defensive tackles in the NFL, playing for 12 seasons (1958-1962, 1964-1970) with the same team
He was known for his humorous endorsement of La-Z-Boy recliners.
Alex Karras cause of death
Alex Karras died in the morning hours of October 10 from complications caused by kidney failure.
Alex Karras was 77 years old at the time of his death.
In his later years, Karras suffered several serious health problems, including dementia, heart disease, and cancer.
Karras was among many former NFL players to have filed a lawsuit against the NFL in early 2012, over issues of head injuries during their career that had caused various ill effects later in their lives, including dementia.
On October 8, 2012, it was revealed by friend Tom McInerney that Karras had suffered from kidney failure; doctors gave him a few days to live. Karras was treated at the Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, before being released into hospice care. After returning to his Los Angeles home with family.
Blazing Saddles – Alex Karras as Mongo