DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand says the franchise is deeply saddened to learn of Alex Karras’ condition.

Published reports say the former All-Pro defensive lineman and actor has kidney failure and has been given only a few days to live.

The 77-year-old Karras has been suffering from dementia. He is among the many former NFL players suing the league regarding the treatment of head injuries.

Detroit drafted Karras out of Iowa in 1958 and he was a standout for 12 seasons. He may be even better well known for his work as an actor.

He played the role of Mongo in the 1974 comedy classic “Blazing Saddles,” and was a lovable father in the 1980s sitcom “Webster.”

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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