Former Lion, Movie-TV Star Karras Voted Into Pro Football HOF
Alex Karras, who not only had a controversial pro football career, but also became a movie and TV star, has been voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of it's Centennial class.
The Centennial class is meant to break up the log jam of players worthy of being voted into the Hall of Fame and also to induct those that didn't get voted in previously.
Karras was drafted by the Lions after an All-American career at Iowa, that was nothing if not wild. After he graduated in 1957 he became a pro wrestler for a short time, but he also joined the defending champion Lions, and became a pillar of the Detroit defense in the years following the Lions' glory days in the 1950's. However, Karras and Green Bay Packer Paul Hornung were suspended for a season, in 1963, for gambling.
Upon his return, he went on to play seven more season. In 1968, the Lions were featured in a movie version of author George Plimpton's book, Paper Lion. (about Plimpton's experience as a journalist playing a down of professional football.)
Karras went on to a long acting career, appearing in classics M*A*S*H, and Blazing Saddles (in the minor but pivital role as Mongo), Karras starred with his second wife, Susan George, in the 1980's TV series Webster.The two met when he co-starred as her husband in the movie Babe, about Olympian Babe Didricksen.
He also did color commentary on Monday Night Football.
Karras died in 2012, suffering from a variety of ailments.