Alex Karras, a former Detroit Lions football player who became an actor in projects like “Blazing Saddles” and “Webster”, is reportedly near the end of his life after experiencing kidney failure. He has been released from a California hospital to spend time at home with his family.
“He may be dying of kidney failure because now his body is catching up to the deterioration of his mind,” Craig Mitnick, the attorney Karras hired in his current lawsuit against the NFL, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Lions president Tom Lewand also released a statement, saying, “The entire Detroit Lions family is deeply saddened to learn of the news regarding the condition of one of our all-time greats, Alex Karras. Perhaps no player in Lions history attained as much success and notoriety for what he did after his playing days as did Alex.”
The 77-year-old is currently at his home in Los Angeles with his wife Susan Clark, and children: George, Alex Jr., Katie and Peter. The former defensive tackle, who was one of the best in his time, has suffered from dementia and cancer in addition to kidney failure. Karras and some other former NFL players filed a lawsuit against the National Football League earlier this year claiming damages because they felt the league didn’t do enough to protect them from the head injuries that caused them health problems later on in life, like Karras’s dementia.
“Alex’s decision to get involved in this was for the right reasons — to help the game of football,” Mitnick adds of the lawsuit.