Merlin Olsen Biography, Stats, Career, Net Worth

John Rizzo

Merlin Olsen was an American football player who played defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams from 1962 to 1976. He was born on September 15, 1940, in Logan, Utah, and died on March 11, 2010, at the age of 69.

He was 6’5″ tall, weighed 270 pounds, and played college football for Utah State where he won the Outland Trophy in 1961. Olsen had an outstanding professional career with the Rams, earning six First-team All-Pro honors, making 14 Pro Bowl appearances, and winning the NFL Rookie of the Year award in 1962.

He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame.

Merlin Olsen

Personal Information of Merlin Olsen

Real Name/Full NameMerlin Jay Olsen
Age69 years old
Birth DateSep 15, 1940
Birth PlaceLogan, Utah
Height6′ 5″
Weight270 pounds
Wife/Spouse (Name)Susan Wakley
ProfessionCoach’s player
Net Worth$1-5 Million

Early life

Merlin Olsen was born as the eldest son of a family of nine siblings in Logan, Utah. His parents, Merle Barrus and Lynn Jay Olsen, both graduated from Utah State University and pursued their careers. While his father was a professor at the university, his mother had studied elementary education.

Merlin’s family was known for their hospitality, often welcoming their neighbors into their home to provide them with food, housing, or tutoring. During winters, they would even provide shelter for ice skaters from the local park.

Growing up, Merlin Olsen enjoyed the natural surroundings of Utah. He was an active child and loved to play sports with his brothers and friends. Despite the family’s modest background, they believed strongly in education and ensured their children received proper schooling.

Merlin Olsen attended Logan High School and later enrolled in Utah State University on a football scholarship. His success as an athlete led him to pursue a career in professional football. Despite his success, he maintained strong ties to his family and community in Logan, Utah.


Merlin Olsen was a highly educated individual with a strong background in finance and economics. He attended Utah State University where he was an active member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. While studying at USU, Olsen played football as a defensive tackle and was a three-year letterman.

After completing his undergraduate degree in finance in 1962, he went on to earn a master’s degree in economics in 1971. Olsen was highly respected in the business community, and his impressive academic credentials played a major role in his success.

In recognition of his achievements, he received an honorary doctorate degree in business from the Huntsman School. Olsen’s education laid the foundation for his extensive career both on and off the football field.

His expertise in economics and finance allowed him to make significant contributions to the business world, and his strong academic background was a testament to his dedication and hard work. Through his tireless efforts, Merlin Olsen became an accomplished and highly respected figure, leaving a lasting impact on both the academic and sports communities.


Merlin Olsen was a highly sought-after football player after finishing college with offers from both the NFL and AFL. In 1962, Olsen decided to sign with the Los Angeles Rams to secure his future in the NFL.

His first contract was worth about $50,000 for two years, which was a significant amount at the time as the average football player salary was $12,000 a year. Olsen’s decision to join the NFL proved to be a wise one as he went on to have a successful career, including being named to the Pro Bowl 14 times, and being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982.

Olsen played for the Rams for 15 seasons and was known for his exceptional skills on the field. He was also a talented actor and commentator, making appearances on various TV shows and sports broadcasts.

Olsen was a beloved figure in the sports world and remained active in various charitable organizations. His legacy as one of the greatest football players of all time continues to inspire and influence players and fans alike.

Net Worth

Merlin Olsen was a famous American football player, actor and sportscaster who had a net worth of $1.5 million at the time of his death in 2010. He played as a defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams for 15 years and was selected to the Pro Bowl 14 times, a record he shares with three other players.

He also won the Outland Trophy as the best college lineman in 1961 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.

After his football career, Olsen became a successful actor and broadcaster. He starred as Jonathan Garvey on the popular TV series Little House on the Prairie and later as Father Murphy on his own show.

He also appeared in several movies and commercials. He was the voice of FTD florists and The X-Files syndication. He also worked as a commentator for NBC’s NFL coverage and the Rose Bowl.

Olsen was born in Logan, Utah in 1940 and graduated from Utah State University in 1962. He was married to Susan Wakley and had three children: Kelly, Nathan and Jill. He died of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure, at the age of 69 in Duarte, California.


Merlin Olsen was a highly decorated athlete and received numerous awards in his lifetime. His remarkable sporting career was marked by several accolades, including the Athlete of the Century award for the state of Utah.

In 1982, he was also named the Walter Camp Man of the Year. The awards recognized his immense contributions to the world of sports both as a professional footballer and as a sports broadcaster.

In December 2009, Utah State University announced that the playing ground inside Romney Stadium, which serves as the home ground for the university’s football program, would be named Merlin Olsen Field.

This honor was bestowed on Olsen because of his remarkable achievements and contributions to the sports world. Olsen was present at the ceremony but didn’t speak due to his illness.

Nevertheless, the attendees warmly welcomed the announcement, with many expressing their gratitude for Olsen’s immense contributions to the world of football.In the fall of 2010, a sculpture of Olsen was also unveiled in a plaza south of the Romney Stadium during an official dedication ceremony.

This statue served as a testament to his impressive career and contributions to the sports world. Overall, Merlin Olsen’s numerous awards are a reflection of his remarkable athletic achievements during his lifetime.

Personal life

Merlin Olsen was a family man who valued education. He met his future wife, Susan Wakley, while they were both attending Utah State University. The couple’s marriage lasted for many years, during which they had three children together.

Olsen was a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and lived in San Marino, California. In his personal life, he enjoyed spending time with his family, traveling, and being outdoors.

Despite his fame as a professional football player, Olsen was humble and prioritized his family and faith above all else. His dedication to his family and community earned him respect both on and off the football field.

Furthermore, Olsen was known for his charity work and philanthropic efforts. He was a founder of the Children’s Miracle Network, which helps children who are suffering from serious illnesses. Overall, Merlin Olsen was not only known for his success as a football player, but also for his commitment to his family, his faith, and helping others in need.

How old was Merlin Olsen when he died?

Merlin Olsen’s Age at Death

Merlin Olsen was an American football player and broadcaster who died at the age of 69. He passed away on March 11, 2010, in Duarte, California, due to mesothelioma which is a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

Olsen played for the Los Angeles Rams in the National Football League (NFL) for 15 seasons and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982. Olsen was also a successful sports commentator for CBS and NBC networks.

He will always be remembered for his remarkable career as a football player and his contribution to sports broadcasting.

How much did Merlin Olsen weight?

Merlin Olsen was a former American football player. He was also a TV commentator and actor. Here are some details about his weight:

  • Merlin Olsen weighed around 270 pounds during his football career.
  • He played as a defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams.
  • Olsen was known for his strength and agility on the field.
  • Despite his large size, he was often quick enough to tackle opposing players.
  • After his football career ended, Olsen lost some weight.
  • He became a TV commentator and worked for NBC Sports.
  • Olsen also acted in several TV shows and commercials.
  • He passed away in 2010 at the age of 69.
  • Although he was a big man, Olsen had a gentle and kind personality.
  • He was well-respected by his colleagues and fans alike.

Is Merlin Olsen a Hall of Famer?

Merlin Olsen is considered one of the greatest football players of all time. He was one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the history of the game. Here are some points that will help you understand why Merlin Olsen is a Hall of Famer:

1. Exceptional Career: Olsen played for the Los Angeles Rams for 15 seasons.
2. Pro Bowl Record: He was a Pro Bowl selection for 14 years, which is a record.
3. NFL Record: Olsen recorded a career-high of 11 sacks.
4. Durable Player: He never missed a game in his entire career.
5. Tremendous Skills: Olsen was known for his size, strength, and quickness.
6. Hall of Fame Induction: He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982.
7. First-year Eligibility: Olsen was inducted into the Hall of Fame during his first year of eligibility.
8. TV Career: Olsen starred in the popular series Little House on the Prairie for four years.
9. A true inspiration: He was an inspiration both on and off the field.
10. A Legend: Merlin Olsen will always be remembered as one of the greatest players in NFL history.

Does Merlin Olsen have a son?

Merlin Olsen was a Hall of Fame football player and NFL commentator who passed away in 2010. He had three children with his wife Susan Wakley, but none of them were sons. Instead, Merlin had two daughters named Kelly and Jill, as well as a son named Nathan.

Nathan followed in his father’s footsteps as a football player, but unfortunately passed away from mesothelioma in 2019. Merlin Olsen was known for his successful career as a player for the Los Angeles Rams and for the wholesome image he projected during his time as a television commentator.

Despite not having any sons, he was still a devoted father to his children.

Is Arthur older than Merlin?

It is unclear whether Arthur is older than Merlin. The age difference between them cannot be determined due to lack of information. It is possible that Merlin is older than Arthur or they are the same age.

However, it is logical to assume that Merlin is at least one year younger than Arthur since he serves as his servant. But beyond that, no assumptions can be made. The show does not provide any direct evidence regarding their age difference.

Their relationship and position do not depend on their ages but rather on their respective roles as the King and his trusted advisor. Hence, the age difference is not significant in the story’s narrative.

Overall, it is safe to say that the show does not prioritize their age difference, and it should not be a point of focus when analyzing their characters and the show’s plot.

Did Merlin have a daughter?

In the fifth episode of the show, Nimue meets Merlin. She is curious about why her mother wanted her to bring him the sword. Merlin reveals a surprising fact to her. He tells her that he had a relationship with her mother.

Nimue is even more shocked when she finds out that Merlin is actually her father. This revelation changes everything. It explains why Nimue has such a strong connection to magic. The news also affects Nimue’s relationships with the other characters in the show.

Merlin becomes a more important figure in her life. She starts to understand more about her powers and her destiny. The father-daughter relationship between Merlin and Nimue is one of the driving forces of the show.

It adds another layer of complexity to the story. It also provides a personal connection for viewers who may be drawn to the idea of a powerful wizard and his brave daughter. The revelation that Merlin has a daughter is a significant plot twist that makes the show even more intriguing.

How tall is Merlin in Merlin?

Merlin, played by actor Colin Morgan, stands at six feet tall. He is the same height as his co-star Bradley James, who plays King Arthur. This means that Merlin is 1.83 meters tall. While his height is never explicitly mentioned in the show, fans of the series may appreciate this tidbit of information.

In the show, Merlin often appears to be of average height, which makes sense since he is not meant to draw attention to himself. However, his magical abilities are what set him apart from others, and his height ultimately doesn’t matter in this regard.

Fans of the show may be interested to know that the height of actors can have an impact on how they are portrayed on screen. In some cases, actors are chosen for certain roles because of their height, as it can help to create a certain image or impression.

However, in the case of Merlin, it seems that Colin Morgan was simply the best actor for the role, regardless of his height.

What are some fun facts about Merlin Olsen?

Merlin Olsen was a legendary American football player and leader who captained the Rams for five years. He holds the distinction of starting in an incredible 198 consecutive games, showing his incredible durability and love for the game.

Olsen was also one of the greatest defensive tackles of his time, setting numerous records in his impressive career. Although he was a fierce competitor on the field, Olsen was known for his kind and approachable personality off the field.

He was a major supporter of charitable causes and was involved in many philanthropic works throughout his life. In addition to football, Merlin Olsen was also a talented actor, appearing in numerous movies and TV series.

He appeared in the popular TV show Little House on the Prairie, playing the role of Jonathan Garvey. He was also a commentator for NFL games and became a beloved voice of the sport for millions of viewers.

Merlin Olsen’s love for the game and passion for excellence made him a true icon in American sports history. His legacy continues to inspire future generations of athletes who strive to achieve greatness both on and off the field.

To Recap

Merlin Olsen was an American football player, born on September 15, 1940, in Logan, Utah. He was a tall and heavy defensive tackle who played for the Los Angeles Rams throughout his career.

Olsen was a successful athlete who won several awards, including the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1962, six First-team All-Pro honors, 14 Pro-Bowl selections, and the Outland Trophy in 1961.

After his retirement, he was inducted into both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. Olsen passed away on March 11, 2010, at the age of 69, leaving a legacy as one of the greatest players of all time.

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John Rizzo

I am a professional rugby player in the Washington DC-Baltimore area. I have been playing rugby for over 10 years and have had the opportunity to play in many different countries. I am also a coach for both youth and adult rugby teams. I graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Sports Management and Marketing. I am currently working on my MPA from American University and plan to pursue this career path after graduating next year. LinkedIn

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