Alexander George Karras (July 15, 1935 – October 10, 2012) was an American football player, professional wrestler, sportscaster, and actor. He was a four-time Pro Bowl player with the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL), where he played from 1958 to 1970.
- Susan Clark
Personal life. Clark was born Nora Golding in Sarnia,...
- Early life
Born and raised in Gary, Indiana, Karras was the son of Dr....
- College career
His older brothers, Lou and Ted, had played at Purdue but...
- Susan Clark
- College Career
- Professional Football
- Film and Television
- Later Activities
- Personal Life
- Illness and Death
Born and raised in Gary, Indiana, Karras was the son of Dr. George Karras, a Greek immigrant (from Chios) who graduated from the University of Chicago and got his medical degree in Canada. There, George Karras met and married a Canadian woman, Alex's mother, Emmeline (née Wilson), a registered nurse. George Karras opened a medical practice in Gary, but he died when Alex was thirteen years old. By that time, Alex Karras had learned to play football in a parking lot near his home, and he blossomed into a four-time Indiana all-state selection at Gary's Emerson High School. His older brothers, Lou (a future member of the Redskins) and Ted (who later played with the Bears and Lions), had played at Purdue but later Ted transferred to Indiana. Because of this, Alex said, "Indiana had the inside track" on recruiting him. Shortly after he graduated from high school, three coaches from the Iowa Hawkeyes met Karras at his broth...
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 the tenth selection of the 1958 NFL draft, taken by the Detroit Lions (in December 1957). He signed with the Lions, spurning an offer from the Canadian Football League's Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He quickly became one of the dominant defensive tacklesin the NFL, playing for 12 seasons (1958–1962, 1964–1970) with the same team. On January 7, 1963, Karras's ownership in Detroit's Lindell AC Bar became a source of controversy when league officials urged him to sell his financial interests in the place because of reports of gambling and organized crime influence. After first threatening to retire rather than give it up, Karras admitted placing bets on NFL games and was suspended by the league, along with Green Bay Packers' running back Paul Hornung, for one se...
In 1968, he made his film debut playing himself in the film adaptation of George Plimpton's nonfiction sports book Paper Lion.As in Plimpton's book, Karras delights his teammates with impromptu monologues about a fanciful past, including his marriage to Hitler. Following his release by the Lions in 1971, he made several appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and also played a bit part in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, appearing in the farewell party scene where Rhoda moves back to New York (1972). Karras soon began acting on a full-time basis, playing a Tennessee boy turned Olympic weightlifter named Hugh Ray Feather in 1973's The 500 Pound Jerk. He played a hulking villain who menaced Clint Walker in the ABC TV film Hardcase. A minor but memorable role came one year later in the western parody Blazing Saddles (1974): the very strong and slow-witted thug Mongo, who rode into town on a huge brahman (marked with "yes" and "no" pa...
Besides being one of the subjects of George Plimpton's nonfiction book Paper Lion (published in 1966), he was one of the two principal subjects of Plimpton's follow-up book, Mad Ducks and Bears (1973) (fellow Detroit Lion John Gordy was the "bear" to Karras' "mad duck.") Karras named one of his sons after Plimpton. During his last years as a Detroit Lion, Karras wrote a journal of his experiences that was published in the Detroit Free Press. He subsequently wrote a memoir, Even Big Guys Cry (1978), and a novel, Tuesday Night Football(1991).
In conjunction with the 100 Years of Hawkeye Football celebration in 1989, Iowa Hawkeye fans selected an all-time team. The squad featured 11 players on offense and defense, two kickers, and 15 special-mention players who received strong fan support. Alex Karras was voted to the team as a defensive lineman. Karras was elected to the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame in 1977 and the College Football Hall of Famein 1991. On December 12, 2014 the Big Ten Network included Karras on "The Mount Rushmore of Iowa Football", as chosen by online fan voting. Karras was joined in the honor by Nile Kinnick, Chuck Long and Tim Dwight.
Karras also worked briefly as a football coach in 2007 and 2008. He worked for the SIL as an assistant coach to Bob Lombardi. He owned an ice cream parlor in Surfside Beach, South Carolinacalled The Cow.
Karras was married twice. He married Joan Jurgensen in 1958, with whom he had five children. The marriage ended in divorce in 1975. He married actress Susan Clarkon March 21, 1980, and they had a daughter together.
In his later years, Karras suffered several serious health problems, including dementia, heart disease, and cancer. Karras was among 3,500 former NFL players to have filed lawsuits against the NFL in early 2012, over the long-term damage caused by concussions and repeated hits to the head. On October 8, 2012, it was revealed by friend Tom McInerney that Karras had been diagnosed with kidney failure. He was treated at the Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, before being released into hospicecare. After returning to his Los Angeles home with family, Karras died in the morning hours of October 10.Tales From The Iowa Sidelines, by Ron Maly (ISBN 1-58261-574-8)Greatest Moments In Iowa Hawkeyes Football History, by Mark Dukes & Gus Schrader (ISBN 1-57243-261-6)Evy and the Hawkeyes, by Brian Chapman and Mike Chapman (ISBN 0-88011-186-0)
Karras in c. 1970 Alexander George "Alex" Karras (July 15, 1935 – October 10, 2012) was an American football player, wrestler, movie, television, stage, voice actor, and writer who is known for his role as George Papadapolis in the television series Webster .
Alex Karras (Gary, Indiana, Estados Unidos, 15 de julio de 1935 - Los Ángeles, California, 10 de octubre de 2012) fue un jugador de fútbol americano, luchador profesional y un reconocido actor de series televisivas de la década de 1980
Alex Karras was born on July 15, 1935 in Gary, Indiana, USA as Alexander George Karras. He was an actor and producer, known for Blazing Saddles (1974), Victor Victoria (1982) and Porky's (1981). He was married to Susan Clark and Ivalyn Joan Jurgensen. He died on October 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Alex Karras was born as Alexander George Karras on July 15, 1935 in Gary, Indiana to Dr. George Karras and Emmeline Wilson. His father had Greek ancestry, while his mother was Canadian. Alex grew up in a middle-class house household with two older brothers, named Lou and Ted Karras.
Production history. When Alex Karras and Susan Clark married in real life, they started their own production company, Georgian Bay Ltd. ABC approached the couple about a sitcom development deal which resulted in a proposed romantic-comedy series, Another Ballgame, to star Karras as an ex-NFL player who quickly found true love with a socialite consumer advocate (Clark) on a cruise.
Alex Karras, Actor: Blazing Saddles. Alex Karras was born on July 15, 1935 in Gary, Indiana, USA as Alexander George Karras. He was an actor and producer, known for Blazing Saddles (1974), Victor Victoria (1982) and Porky's (1981). He was married to Susan Clark and Ivalyn Joan Jurgensen. He died on October 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, California, USA.
On March 20, 2020, Karras signed a one-year contract with the Miami Dolphins. Personal life. Karras is a third-generation NFL player. His grandfather, Ted Karras, Sr., and great uncles, Lou Karras and Alex Karras, played in the NFL during the 1950s and 1960s, and his father Ted Karras, Jr. played during the 1987