Richard Marvin "Dick" Butkus (born December 9, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois) is a former American football player and actor.
He began playing football as a boy in Chicago. He graduated from Vocational High School in Chicago before continuing his education downstate at the University of Illinois.
At Illinois, Butkus was a fearsome linebacker. He was twice named All American (1962, 1963). Such was his excellence that in 1985, an award for outstanding college linebacker was created in his name.
After his collegiate career, Butkus was drafted in the first round by his hometown team, the Chicago Bears. In Chicago, Butkus became known for wreaking havoc on the opponent's backfield. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 9 seasons. He was all league six times. Butkus recovered 35 fumbles in his NFL career. He was forced to retire after multiple knee injuries in 1973.
Butkus' #51 has been retired by the Bears. He was also selected the 70th greatest athlete of the 20th century by ESPN, the 9th best player in league history by The Sporting News, and the fifth best by the Associated Press. The National Football League named him to their all time team in 2000. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979.
After his career as a player, Butkus has become a well known celebrity endorser, broadcaster, and actor. He has appeared in films such as Necessary Roughness and Any Given Sunday.