Alexander "Alex" Karras

Emerson High School

Sport: Football

Alex Karras was a graduate of Emerson High School and the University of Iowa. Born and raised in Gary, Indiana, Karras learned to play football in a parking lot near his home, with and against his athletically-inclined brothers, and he blossomed into a four-time Indiana All-State Selection at Gary’s Emerson High School. Karras also excelled in numerous other sports in high school, including baseball, track, wrestling and basketball. He graduated in 1954. Karras was an American football player, professional wrestler, sportscaster, and actor.  He was a four-time Pro Bowl player with the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL), where he played from 1958 to 1970. As an actor, Karras played Mongo in the 1974 comedy film Blazing Saddles. He starred as George Papadapolis, the adoptive father of Webster Long (Emmanuel Lewis), in the ABC sitcom Webster (1983–1989) alongside his wife Susan Clark. Karras also had a prominent role in Victor/Victoria, starring Julie Andrews and James Garner. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the Centennial class.