NFL Hall of Famer and actor Merlin Olsen passed away Wednesday at 69 after a lengthy bout with mesothelioma, a form of cancer.
Olsen was a member of the Los Angeles Rams' fabled "Fearsome Foursome" defensive line in the 60's that also included Deacon Jones and Roosevelt Grier. Like Grier (who would later join the cast of Daniel Boone), Olsen made the transition to Hollywood, starting with a supporting role in the 1969 film, "The Undefeated", which starred John Wayne. After his playing days ended, Olsen moved into the broadcast booth for NBC, working alongside play-by-play announcer Dick Enberg, and the two also called the Rose Bowl for NBC from 1980-88. During that time, Olsen re-established himself as an actor, joining the cast of Little House on the Prarie before being given his own series, Father Murphy, in 1981. Olsen also did a series of commercials for FTD, and in addition to being enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame, he was inducted into the Rams' Ring of Fame after the team moved to St. Louis.
Rest in peace, Merlin. You will be missed.