Alex Karras (File)
LOS ANGELES (October 10, 2012)--Alex Karras, who gained fame first as a fearsome defensive lineman during his 12 seasons and later as an actor, died Wednesday at the age of 77.
Craig Mitnick, Karras' attorney, said Karras died Wednesday at home in Los Angeles surrounded by family.
Karras suffered from dementia and was among the more than 3,500 NFL players suing the league regarding the treatment of head injuries.
Detroit drafted Karras, who grew up in Gary, Ind., 10th overall in 1958 out of Iowa.
He was a four-time All-Pro defensive tackle over 12 seasons with the franchise.
Karras may be even better known for his work as an actor.
He portrayed an adoptive father in the 1980s sitcom "Webster," and punched a horse in the 1974 comedy classic "Blazing Saddles."