Karras had been suffering from dementia. He was among the more than 3,500 NFL players suing the league regarding the treatment of head injuries.
Detroit drafted Karras, who grew up in Gary, 10th overall in 1958 out of Iowa and he was a four-time All-Pro defensive tackle over 12 seasons with the franchise.
Karras may be even better known for his work as an actor. He portrayed an adoptive dad in the 1980s sitcom "Webster," and punched a horse in the 1974 comedy classic "Blazing Saddles."