To quote Alex Karras’s Blazing Saddles character, we’re all only pawns in the game of life. The former Detroit Lions lineman turned actor died Wednesday at age 77 after battling kidney disease and stomach cancer. Karras was an NFL star before he turned to acting, first as a horse-slugging bruiser in Mel Brooks’s Blazing Saddles and then in the ’80s ABC sitcom Webster. In April, Karras was the lead plaintiff in a mass concussion lawsuit against the NFL, joining thousands of players who are suing the league for various head trauma injuries. His wife and Webster costar, Susan Clark, said her husband was diagnosed with dementia several years ago and has had symptoms for more than a dozen years.