TV's 'Father Murphy' Merlin Olsen dies at 69
Utah State University assistant athletic media relations director Zach Fisher says Olsen died Wednesday night at a Los Angeles hospital.
He was diagnosed with mesothelioma last year, a rare form of cancer often caused by exposure to asbestos.
Olsen was an All-American at Utah State and a first-round draft pick of the Los Angles Rams in 1962. Olsen was rookie of the year for the Rams in 1962 and is still the Rams' all-time leader in career tackles with 915. He was named to 14 consecutive Pro Bowls, a string that started his rookie year.
But to '80s fans, he's probably best known by two roles on television: "Mr. Garvey" on Little House in the Prairie from 1977 to 1981 and "John Michael Murphy" on Father Murphy from 1981 to 1983.
He also appeared in Fathers and Sons and Aaron's Way.