Merlin Jay Olsen was an American football player in the National Football League, NFL commentator, and actor. He played his entire 15-year career with the Los Angeles Rams and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 14 of those seasons, a current record shared with Bruce Matthews. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. As an actor he portrayed the farmer Jonathan Garvey on Little House on the Prairie. After leaving that series, he starred in his own NBC drama, Father Murphy, playing the title role of a foster dad posing as a traveling priest.