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|Also Known As:||Died:|
|Born:||December 9, 1942||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Chicago, Illinois, USA||Profession:||Cast ...|
In the 1960s, Dick Butkus made himself one of the most feared defensive players in professional football and synonymous with the rugged, blue-collar ethos of the Chicago Bears. Born in the Windy City, he built a reputation as a ferocious linebacker at the University of Illinois and was drafted by the Bears in 1965. Demonstrating an agility belied by his 6'3" 245-lb. stature, he briefly helped revive the Bears' fortunes as he terrorized quarterbacks and blew up running plays. Butkus was selected to eight Pro Bowls, but by the early 1970s, a nagging knee injury slowed him and the recurring pain forced him to retire in 1973. He began an acting career as a frequent television guest star and, in tandem with fellow NFL-vet Bubba Smith, a high-profile pitchman for Miller Lite in its long-running "Tastes Great, Less Filling" campaign. He periodically landed regular gigs on television, as per his supporting cast roles on "Blue Thunder" (NBC, 1984), "My Two Dads" (1987-1990) and "Hang Time" (NBC, 1995-2000). In 2008, ESPN built a reality-TV show, "Bound for Glory," around the premise of Butkus pseudo-coaching a struggling high school football team. A first-ballot inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Butkus remained an archetype of the game's pre-frills, no-holds-barred smash-mouth era.
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