Actor and football great Alex Karras

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Alex Karras, the rugged lineman who anchored the Detroit Lions' defense in the 1960s, then went on to an acting career in which he starred in the sitcom "Webster" and famously punched a horse in the 1974 comedy "Blazing Saddles," died Wednesday. He was 77.

Alex Karras during his playing days with
(Credit: AP)

Alex Karras during his playing days with the Detroit Lions.

After retiring, NFL star Alex Karras worked as
(Credit: AP)

After retiring, NFL star Alex Karras worked as an ABC announcer with Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford. (Oct. 8, 1974)

ABC's broadcasting team for
(Credit: AP)

ABC's broadcasting team for "Monday Night Football' for part of the 1970s featured (left to right) Alex Karras, Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford. (November 1975)

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University of Iowa tackle Alex Karras. (1956)
(Credit: AP)

University of Iowa tackle Alex Karras. (1956)

In one of the most famous plays ever,
(Credit: AP)

In one of the most famous plays ever, New Orleans Saints' Tom Dempsey kicks a record-setting, game-winning 63-yard field goal in New Orleans as teammate Joe Scarpati holds the ball, Detroit Lions defender Alex Karras (71) is seen rushing in. (Nov. 8, 1970)

(Credit: AP)

"Saturday Night Live" actor Billy Crystal, in character as "Fernando," center, is flanked by host Alex Karras and musical guest Tina Turner during a rehearsal in New York. (Jan. 31, 1985)

Henry Dyer of the Los Angeles Rams is
(Credit: AP)

Henry Dyer of the Los Angeles Rams is tackled by Detroit Lions defender Alex Karras after rushing for a three-yard gain at the Los Angeles Coliseum. (Nov. 3, 1968)

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Bobby Layne looks for a
(Credit: AP)

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Bobby Layne looks for a pass receiver as he is pursued by Detroit Lions defender Alex Karras (71). (Sept. 16, 1962)

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