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Merlin Olsen Dead at 69

Merlin Olsen, who left a fifteen-year NFL career to become an actor in the seventies and eighties, starring as Pa Ingalls's BFF Jonathan Garvey on Little House on the Prairie and later as a traveling priest in his own show, Father Murphy, died yesterday of cancer at age 69. Olsen's lawsuit against NBC and 20th Century Fox for allegedly exposing him to asbestos (he died of mesothelioma) is still pending. [E! Online]

Photo: NBC