Alex Karras of ‘Webster’ and ‘Blazing Saddles’ Dies at 77
I am a huge fan of ‘Blazing Saddles’ and I saw every episode of ‘Webster’ (don’t know if I am okay with admitting that). When I found out that Alex Karras died, I had a hard time remembering who he even was. Certainly didn’t recognize the name. Well when I saw this picture above it all clicked. Alex Karras, former NFL player, star of the television series ‘Webster’ and Mongo in the Mel Brooks classic ‘Blazing Saddles’ has passed away at the age of 77.
TMZ reports that Alex Karras died of kidney failure following his struggle with various illnesses over the last several years, including kidney disease, heart disease, stomach cancer, and dementia. TMZ confirmed the news with a member of Karras’ family this morning.
Karras was formerly a player for the Detroit Lions NFL team from 1958 to 1970 before he became an actor. He made his debut appearance on the ‘Daniel Boone’ television series as Williams, and went on to appear in several television shows, ranging from ‘M*A*S*H*’ to ‘The Odd Couple,’ before landing a gig as Webster’s father, George Papadapolis, on the beloved 80s television series ‘Webster.’
The actor also starred in a handful of movies, including Mel Brooks’ ‘Blazing Saddles’ and ‘Porky’s’ before making his final film appearance in 1998 for Vincent Gallo’s ‘Buffalo ’66′ in which he played a TV sportscaster. Karras may not have a had a huge career, but he certainly made his mark as most people will remember him very fondly from his days on ‘Webster’ and his hilarious turn in ‘Blazing Saddles.’
Here is our classic introduction to “Mongo” in Blazing Saddles. (Note Language May Not Be SFW)