Biography

Twice named All-American during his football-playing days at the University of Illinois, Dick Butkus went on to spend eight years (1965-1973) as linebacker for the Chicago Bears. Chosen best NFL defensive player on two separate occasions, the "Maestro of Mayhem" also held the record for second-highest number of recovered fumbles. The 6'3," 245-pound Butkus left pro football after a knee injury in 1973 but kept his hand in as a sportscaster, eventually with Chicago's WGN radio. He was appointed to the Football Hall of Fame in 1979, and an award for outstanding college linebacker has been named in his honor. With all this going for him, Butkus hardly needed movies and television to enhance his reputation, but he has appeared before the cameras on occasion. On TV, he was seen as Al Fanducci in the 1976 miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man, Brom Bones in the 1980 adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, security guard Kurt in the weekly adventure series Half-Nelson (1985), and Ed Klawicki during the 1987-1988 and 1988-1989 seasons of the popular sitcom My Two Dads. Most often, however, Dick Butkus has simply and satisfactorily played "himself," first in the award-winning TV movie Brian's Song (1970), and later in such films as Gremlins 2 (1991) and The Last Boy Scout (1993). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi