NFL Legend Who Had Busy Performing Profession Was 80 – Deadline4 min read

Dick Butkus, a Corridor of Famer who was among the many best, most revered and most feared gamers in NFL historical past and in addition had a protracted performing profession in TV, movie and commercials, died in a single day in his sleep at his Malibu dwelling. He was 80.

His household confirmed the information on social media.

After back-to-back All-America seasons at Illinois College, Butkus was picked No. 3 total by his hometown Chicago Bears in 1965. A fearsome power on the sector and reasonably mild big off of it, he spent his total injury-shortened nine-season profession with the membership, redefining the linebacker place within the course of.

Dick Butkus circa 1971 (Getty Photos)

Energetic from 1965-73, Butkus was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Workforce for each the Sixties and ’70s and was chosen for the All-Time NFL Workforce in 2000. A six-time All-NFL choice, two-time Defensive Participant of the Yr, he performed in eight consecutive Professional Bowls and was enshrined within the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 1979 after retiring with 1,020 profession tackles, 22 interceptions and 25 fumble recoveries. 

He additionally was a shade analyst for Bears radio and appeared on CBS pregame present The NFL In the present day within the late Eighties.

“Dick was the final word Bear, and one of many best gamers in NFL historical past. He was Chicago’s son,” Bears chairman George H. McCaskey mentioned in an announcement (learn it in full right here). “He exuded what our nice metropolis is about and, not conicidentally, what George Halas appeared for in a participant: toughness, smarts, instincts, ardour and management. He refused to simply accept something lower than the very best from himself, or from his teammates. … His contributions to the sport he beloved will dwell endlessly.”

“There’s just one factor I’ve ever needed to do: Play professional soccer,” he informed the Corridor of Fame. “Everybody appears to be made for one thing, and I’ve at all times felt that taking part in soccer was the factor I used to be speculated to do. I really like the sport.”

Dick Butkus circa 1965 (Bettmann Archive)

Getty Photos

Born on December 9, 1942, within the Windy Metropolis, Butkus additionally has a protracted profession onscreen that started throughout his taking part in days. He performed himself within the memorable, multi-Emmy-winning 1971 telefilm Brian’s Track and later started to land visitor spots on such TV collection as McMillan & Spouse, Police Story and Emergency!

By the mid-Seventies, Butkus was showing alongside different athletes and in a number of widespread and enduring Miller Lite TV commercials. Along with his hulking body and profitable smile, he continued to land roles via the Seventies and past on such widespread TV reveals as The Six Million Greenback Man, The Rockford Recordsdata, Surprise Girl, Taxi, Vega$, Magnum P.I., McGyver, Simon & Simon, Matlock, Rising Pains, Kate & Allie and The Love Boat.

In 1987, Butkus landed a series-regular position on the NBC sitcom My Two Dads, taking part in an ex-football participant who ran a restaurant within the constructing the place leads Paul Reiser and Greg Evigan lived. The present made the primetime High 20 in its 1987-88 rookie yr, and he stayed with the collection for its first two seasons.

Butkus went on to co-star within the ’90s NBC Saturday morning collection Dangle Time, beginning with its fourth season in 1998. Taking part in the coach of a highschool basketball crew, he appeared in additional than 50 episodes over its remaining two seasons, wrapping in 2000.

He additionally performed himself in episodes of the 2000s collection The Bernie Mac Present, Inside Schwartz and I Didn’t Do It.

Butkus additionally made a number of big-screen appearances, together with Disney’s 1976 soccer romp Gus; reverse Invoice Cosby, Raquel Welch and Harvey Keitel that very same yr in Mom, Jugs & Pace; with Michael Keaton in Johnny Dangerously (1984); Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990); and Oliver Stone’s 1999 professional soccer film Any Given Sunday.

Butkus is surviving by his highschool sweetheart and spouse of greater than 60 years, Helen, and their household.

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