LOS ANGELES -- Former NFL player and actor Alex Karras died Wednesday in Los Angeles, a family spokesman said. He was 77.
"After a heroic fight with kidney disease, heart disease, dementia and for the last two years, stomach cancer," Karras died at his home, surrounded by family, the spokesman said.
Karras, a defensive lineman and four-time Pro Bowl selection who played for the Detroit Lions from 1958 to 1970, went on to star in the 1980s sitcom Webster and also played the horse-punching Mongo in the 1974 movie "Blazing Saddles."
In April, he joined hundreds of ex-NFL players suing the league over concussion-related injuries, serving as lead plaintiff for what was then the 12th concussion-related complaint filed against the NFL by the Locks Law Firm in Philadelphia.
Karras "sustained repetitive traumatic impacts to his head and/or concussions on multiple occasions during his NFL career, and suffers from various neurological conditions and symptoms related to the multiple head traumas," the lawsuit said.
His wife, "Webster" co-star Susan Clark, said in April that Karras suffered from dementia.
The more than 2,000 NFL players who are suing the league claim the NFL misled players concerning the risks associated with concussions.
The NFL has repeatedly said that player safety is a priority and that any allegation that the NFL intentionally sought to mislead players has no merit.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun