Merlin Olsen

Merlin Olsen waves to the crowd at the Spectrum during halftime of the Utah State-St. Mary's basketball game Friday, December 5, 2009 in Logan Utah. (Eli Lucero/Herald Journal)

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The family of Hall of Fame football player and actor Merlin Olsen has settled a lawsuit with several asbestos companies that they say caused the rare form of cancer he contracted late in life.

Attorneys for Olsen's wife and three children filed a notice of settlement on Wednesday in Los Angeles without providing further details.

Olsen, a Logan native, played football for Utah State University about 50 years ago. He was a three-year letterman - freshmen were not eligible to play then - on the offensive and defensive lines for USU's 1959-61 teams, earning All-American honors during both his junior and senior searsons.

A member of the Los Angeles Rams' "Fearsome Foursome" in the 1960s, Olsen died in March 2010 after battling mesothelioma. He was 69.

Olsen claimed the cancer of the lung lining was caused by exposure to asbestos products at construction sites he worked on as a youth. The settlement covers 10 companies that manufactured or used the products.

After his football playing days, Olsen worked for NBC and ABC as a broadcaster. He went on to have a role on the television series "Little House on the Prairie," then starred in Father Murphy as the main role and in "Aaron's Way." He was a spokesman for other companies, appearing in many TV advertisements over the years. Olsen worked with USU in many fundraising endeavors as well.

Olsen was raised as one of nine children of Merle and Lynn Olsen, who lived across from Merlin Olsen Park in Logan.

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