Lamar Rosey Merlin Deacon
They were awesome! In the 60s, the NFL double-headers started on television. Living in the Mid-West, we would always get the Rams or 49rs as the second game. Da Bears were my #1 team but I couldn’t wait to see the “fearsome foursome” and the Los Angeles Rams.
This fall, HBO is doing a documentary on the Fearsome Foursome (it’s about time) and I encourage all to see it. Those four guys had life-stories that are remarkable. It was a natural for me to love the Rams because they drafted the “first” of the Foursome from my home town university.
Lamar Lundy, an Indiana native, was the first black student to receive a football scholarship to Purdue University. When I was an 8th grader he was my hero in football and basketball. I sold Purdue football programs to get a free ticket to every game. That year, 1956, he won MVP in both sports; something no one else has ever accomplished. He joined the Rams for the 1957 season and over the next few years they acquired the other three greats; Merlin Olson, Rosie Grier and Deacon Jones.
I’m sure the HBO special will document their achievements, on and off the field. Each of these fellows had great personalities and it was no surprise that each one went into acting after their football days ended.
Lamar Lundy didn’t do a lot of acting, mostly guest roles. He was a “Cyclops” monster in the TV series “Lost in Space.”
Deacon Jones appeared in numerous movies and TV shows. He was in Brady Bunch, Odd Couple and Bewitched. He had an ongoing role in “Alf.”
Rosey Grier wrote numerous books; even one titled “Rosey Grier’s Needlepoint for Men.” He appeared in over 70 guest TV roles. He had ongoing roles in Daniel Boone, White Shadow and Make Room for Granddaddy.
Merlin Olson had the most visible on-going roles of the foursome. How can we forget his portrayal of “Jonathan Garvey” on Little House on the Prairie? This led to the lead, starring in the series, Father Murphy. Merlin had this wonderful acting career after 14 seasons as a Pro Bowl selection and in 1999 being named #25 of the 100 greatest football players of all time.
I feel lucky to have seen this tremendous Fearsome Foursome throughout their football careers.