Dick Butkus passed away peacefully at 80, having served with Chicago Bears linebacker as well as being well known actor. No cause of his passing could be pinpointed but according to family he passed peacefully at his Malibu residence in California.
Butkus is best-known for his 14-year football career with the Chicago Bears between 1965 and 1973. Butkus also has a distinguished acting background. He has seamlessly made the transition from gridiron and screen, and appeared in many memorable films and television series over his long career.
Butkus’s most memorable role was in 1971’s sports drama “Brian’s Song”, in which he displayed both his on- and off-field talents. Butkus’s career continued to grow in Hollywood with appearances in “The Longest Yard”, in 1974, and “Any Given Sunday”, in 1999. He was able to further establish himself as a versatile actor.
Dick Butkus became a star beyond the film industry when he teamed up with NFL star Bubba Smith to create a series memorable commercials for Miller Lite in the 1970s. The catchphrase “tastes good, less filling”, which they used in their commercials for Miller Lite during the 1970s, became part of popular culture and forever linked Butkus to beer advertising.
Butkus also graced television screens, taking on series-regular characters on shows such as “My Two Dads”, (1987-1989), as Ed Klawicki. He later played Mike Katowinski in Hang Time, (1998-2000).
Butkus was a guest actor on many of the most popular television series. These include “The Rockford Files”, “Wonder Woman”, “Taxi”, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat,” Matlock,” MacGyver” and Coach. His versatility in acting allowed him to seamlessly transition between genres on screen.
In 2014, his final television appearance was a cameo on Disney Channel’s I Didn’t Do It. He left an indelible impression on yet another audience.
Dick Butkus is remembered for being a legendary footballer and also his ability to act on both screen and in the field. Fans who were awed by his athletic prowess will carry on his legacy.