“Mongo” – Alex Karras NFL Star Dies At 77

Karras, Famous For Stellar NFL Career, Will Always Have A Place in Movie Comedy History

Alex Karras died in Los Angeles at the age of 77 on October 10, 2012 due to kidney failure and other health complications.

The Detroit Lions All-Pro defensive tackle will be remembered by many as a great football player who played from 1958-1970. But I, along with many other people, will remember his acting career which stretched from 1968 -1998. Mel Brooks comedy fans especially loved Karras’ portrayal as the monosyllabic ruffian cowboy, Mongo, in Brooks brilliant 1974 western satire Blazing Saddles.

Karras did not have many scenes in the movie, but they were all very funny.

This scene below is the one that shocked audiences: Karras’ one punch knockout of a horse.  As an fyi -Karras did not actually hurt the horse and people would later come up to him and ask how he could do such a horrible thing.  “I thought it was hilarious, but I didn’t want to hurt that horse at all, believe me,” Karras said in a 2011 interview with the “Sports and Torts” Internet radio show. “I’m not the type of person to do that.”


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