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Alex Karras Dead at 77

10/10/2012 7:34 AM PDT

Alex Karras Dead -- 'Blazing Saddles' Star Dies at 77

Breaking News

NFL great Alex Karras -- who also played Mongo in "Blazing Saddles" -- died this morning after suffering kidney failure ... this according to a family spokesperson.

Karras had been battling a myriad of illnesses over the past 2 years, including kidney disease, heart disease, stomach cancer and dementia.

Karras was a punishing defensive superstar on the Detroit Lions from 1958 to 1970 ... before breaking out in Hollywood.

Besides "Blazing Saddles," Karras also had a starring role on the '80s sitcom "Webster"

He was 77.

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