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Alex Karras, Emmanual Lewis, Susan Clark, Webster Cast

ABC

Alex Karras was a heavy hitter on the football field, and when he retired from pro sports he tackled Hollywood.

Karras' death this morning from kidney failure saddened those who had the chance to work alongside him, be it on TV and movie sets or the gridiron.

"My heartfelt condolences goes out to Susan, Katie, George, Renny, Peter and the entire Karras & Clark family," Emmanuel Lewis, who played Karras and real-life wife Susan Clark's adopted son on the 1980s hit Webster, said in a statement to E! News. 

"My prayers are forever with you guys. I had a very heavy heart this morning and I did not know why. I understand now. Rest in Peace, my friend." 

Mel Brooks, who directed 6-foot-3 former defensive tackle in Blazing Saddles, said the athlete turned actor "was a great pleasure to work with."

"There was a lot of him and all of it was gentle, sweet, and surprisingly talented. I will miss him."

"I'd like to send my condolences to the family and friends of Alex Karras. May the great Lion rest in peace," tweeted retired football star Barry Sanders, a fellow Detroit footballer.

"RIP Alex Karras. Football and acting legend!" tweeted New York Giant turned Live! With Kelly and Michael cohost Michael Strahan.

"REST IN PEACE Alex...." noted Henry Winkler.

"RIP NFL great turned actor Alex Karras.. Loved his classic line in Blazing Saddles: 'Mongo only pawn in game of life'...." wrote WWE Hall of Fame announcer Howard Finkel.

"RIP Mongo/George Papadapolis," Howard 100 news anchor Jon Hein tweeted, namechecking Karras' characters in Blazing Saddles and Webster.

"R.I.P Alex Karras. All-Pro NFL legend in the 60s turned accomplished actor.. Aka Mr. Popadopolis #Webster," wrote Sons of Anarchy actor LaMonica Garrett.