Alex Karras (1935-2012)


Football player turned actor Alex Karras passed away today at the age of 77. He guest starred in “Springtime” (originally broadcast October 15th, 1974) during the third season of M*A*S*H as Lyle Wesson, a soldier who felt such gratitude towards Hawkeye for saving his life that he took it upon himself to make the good doctor’s life easier by using his imposing size and strength. After ten non-consecutive years playing football for the Detroit Lions, Karras turned to acting. He played Mongo in the 1974 film Blazing Saddles and starred in Webster on ABC from 1983 to 1987.

Alex Karras in Springtime

Alex Karras in Springtime

Obituaries can be found at the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.

5 Replies to “Alex Karras (1935-2012)”

  1. This was one of my favorite episodes, and I always got a kick out of the subplot with how he had a man-crush on Hawkeye, lol.

    LYLE: I’m shoving off to my unit tomorrow, I thought maybe I could get your home address, maybe we could be pen pals after the war.
    HAWKEYE: Lyle, it would just be boring for you, I write everything in prescription.

  2. I hope the Emmy people remember to include Alex in next fall’s edition of the “In Memoriam” tribute … unlike what happened in last month’s show with the previous “M*A*S*H” guest star we lost, George “Goober” Lindsey. (While I’m at it — and since it wasn’t otherwise published on this site — the upside of the 2012 Emmy tribute was that they used a clip of Potter’s famous speech from the “Old Soldiers” episode for the segment on Harry Morgan.)

  3. My first glimpse of Alex Karras was when he played George Zaharias in the movie “Babe” (which was about Babe Diedrickson – not the pig). Susan Clark played Babe – and the two real life actors married, and stayed happily that way until he passed away. Only later did I know he was a football star, and of course he played Mongo and then the Dad (with Susan Clark as the mom) in Webster. Lyle Wesson “Lyle bad, Lyle do bad things” – no Alex, you only did good things. RIP

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