Paper Lion
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7 items from 2012


Alex Karras obituary

12 October 2012 2:48 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Actor, wrestler and American football star whose hardman roles included Mongo in Blazing Saddles

In Mel Brooks's 1974 film Blazing Saddles, the enforcer Mongo rides into town on a Brahma bull, and knocks out a horse with one punch. "Don't shoot him, it will just make him mad," the townspeople advise Sheriff Bart. Later, Bart asks Mongo about the things he's done. Looking up with puppy eyes, the hulking villain says: "Mongo only pawn in game of life."

Alex Karras, who has died aged 77, was a natural to play Mongo, with his larger-than-life body and rubbery face, which he could contort in exaggerated clowning, or soften to suggest his slyly sympathetic wit. Some of those skills he learned as a professional wrestler, and even as a novice actor he stole scenes from comedians as talented as Cleavon Little or Gene Wilder. Karras went on to have a successful career as a character actor, »

- Michael Carlson

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Alex Karras, Rip: Late Star's Five Key Roles

10 October 2012 2:56 PM, PDT | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Alex Karras was a big, burly Pro Bowl football player. He was an even bigger personality.  Here's a look at Karras' key roles on the road to off-the-field stardom: 1. Paper Lion: This 1968 behind-the-scenes look at the National Football League, which was made while Karras still suited up every Sunday as a linebaker for the Detroit Lions, provided the role he'd been born to play—his larger-than-life self. "I've been an actor all my life," Karras said in 1994. "Before I was a football player, I wanted to be an actor." 2. Blazing Saddles: Mongo conferred Karras cult-comedy status. The Mel Brooks character also brought the by-then-retired NFL-er some grief. "Little »

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R.I.P. Alex Karras

10 October 2012 8:13 AM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Alex Karras, the former NFL Pro Bowl defensive lineman who went from sacking quarterbacks to memorably Ko’ing a horse in Mel BrooksBlazing Saddles, has died in Los Angeles today. He was 77 and sadly, he is among a growing number of football greats who suffered from dementia. Karras played three decades in the NFL and belied the image of the big lug defensive lineman by using his charm and sense of humor to become quite successful in television and films. That effort started during his football career when he played himself in the film Paper Lion. That movie starred Alan Alda as George Plimpton as the journalist chronicled for Sports Illustrated (and later a book) his painful attempt to audition as quarterback for the Detroit Lions and win some respect for Lions players who tossed him around like a rag doll. Though Karras was one of the great football linemen, »

- MIKE FLEMING

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R.I.P. Alex Karras

10 October 2012 8:13 AM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Alex Karras, the former NFL Pro Bowl defensive lineman who went from sacking quarterbacks to memorably Ko’ing a horse in Mel BrooksBlazing Saddles, has died in Los Angeles today. He was 77 and sadly, he is among a growing number of football greats who suffered from dementia. Karras played three decades in the NFL and belied the image of the big lug defensive lineman by using his charm and sense of humor to become quite successful in television and films. That effort started during his football career when he played himself in the film Paper Lion. That movie starred Alan Alda as George Plimpton as the journalist chronicled for Sports Illustrated (and later a book) his painful attempt to audition as quarterback for the Detroit Lions and win some respect for Lions players who tossed him around like a rag doll. Though Karras was one of the great football linemen, »

- MIKE FLEMING

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Alex Karras, Former Detroit Lion and Star of Webster, Dies at 77

10 October 2012 7:55 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Webster star Alex Karras, who began his career as a football hero for the Detroit Lions, has died, the Associated Press reports. He was 77. Karras, who was suffering from kidney failure, died at home in Los Angeles surrounded by family members, including his wife, Susan Clark, the Canadian actress who also played his fictional wife on Webster, said Karras's attorney, Craig Mitnick Lions president Tom Lewand released the following statement upon learning of Karras's deteriorating health: "The entire Detroit Lions family is deeply saddened to learn of the news regarding the condition of one of our all-time greats, Alex Karras. »

- Tim Nudd and Stephen M. Silverman

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Film Review: ‘Footnote’ Deserves Prominence With Great Storytelling

16 March 2012 4:00 PM, PDT | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – Answering the question, “Where are all the great film thrillers about Talumdic Studies?,” the awesome film “Footnote” considers that very subject, pitting the always complicated relationship between a father and son against an treasured academic prize. Even though it sounds starchy, it actually had more verve than most spy movies.

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the recent Oscars (losing to “A Separation”), this Israeli work defines the country and its atmospheric landscape through the plot, which is another remarkable achievement. There is more cultural acumen to be gained from viewing this film than a hundred showings of “Fiddler on the Roof” (which also gets a sharp and funny poke in the story). The pacing and the style of director Joseph Cedar uplifts the whole narrative, he touches upon the humanity of the situation in a way that maintains the dignity in all of his marvelous characters. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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NFL's Greatest Players: The 13 Best Football Stars in Movies

3 February 2012 11:00 AM, PST | NextMovie | See recent NextMovie news »

On Super Bowl Sunday, the best and baddest of the professional football world will lay it on the line for the biggest of prizes. But only a select few will go on to achieve an even greater glory: movie superstardom.

Okay, the odds of anybody from the NFL rubbing shoulders with Daniel Day-Lewis is somewhat slim, but there have been several former players who have acquitted themselves well on the big screen.

Join us as we salute these gridiron heroes-turned-silver screen stars. (Pros only, please: Sorry, former college star The Rock.)

13. Dan Marino, 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective' (1994)

"Laces out, Dan!" As the object of place kicker-turned-psycho killer Ray Finkel's madness, former Dolphins Qb great Dan Marino plays a key role in the mystery that leads Jim Carrey's wacky title character into a multiple-murder mystery. But what's surprising is the manner in which Marino acquits himself as an actor, »

- Adam Swiderski

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7 items from 2012


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