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Alex Karras Biography

  • Profession: Actor
  • Born: Jul 15, 1935
  • Died: Oct 10, 2012

A college football star at the University of Iowa, Alex Karras turned professional in 1958, spending the next 14 years with the Detroit Lions. Karras went on to be selected All-Pro in 1960, 1961, 1963 and 1965. While still with Detroit, he made his first film appearance in [[Feature~V37198~Paper Lion~paperlion]] (1969). His appetite for show business further whetted by his work in the announcing booth on ABC's [[Feature~V212206~Monday Night Football~mondaynightfootball[tvseries]]], Karras became a full-time actor in 1971. He displayed a keen sense of comic timing in such roles as Mongo in [[Feature~V6029~Blazing Saddles~blazingsaddles]] (1974) and gangster James Garner's gay henchman (who literally comes out of the closet) in [[Feature~V52384~Victor/Victoria~victorvictoria]] (1981). He often appeared opposite his wife, actress [[Performer~P13434~Susan Clark~susanclark]]. Mr. and Mrs. Karras co-starred in the TV biopic [[Feature~V123827~Babe~babe]] (1975), the raunchy but successful [[Feature~V38739~Porky's~porkys]], and the long-running (1983-87) TV sitcom [[Feature~V116182~Webster~thewebsterboy]]. In addition to his thespic activities, Karras co-authored several books, including [[Feature~V85000~Even Big Guys Cry~thebigguy]] (1977) and [[Feature~V18092~Alex Karras: My Life in Football~footballfollies]] (1979). Karras suffered from numerous health problems in his later years, including dementia and cancer, before ultimately succumbing to kidney failure at the age of 77 in 2012. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi