Merlin Olsen, the NFL Hall of Famer-turned-small-screen star, has died at his Utah home of cancer. He was 69.
Best known for the hit series Little House on the Prairie and Father Murphy, Olsen had been diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2009 and had undergone several rounds of chemotherapy.
"Just heard about the passing of Merlin Olsen. I am so sad," tweeted Little House star Melissa Gilbert. "My heart go out to his dear family. He was one of the sweetest, kindest, men I have ever known. The personification of the Gentle Giant. Forever now, a guardian angel."