RIP Bubba Smith. The NFL star who would later make a name for himself as an actor in the popular Police Academy movies, has died. He was found dead in his Los Angeles home, apparently of natural causes. He was 66.
The two time Pro-Bowler started playing football while at Pollard High School in Beaumont, Texas. He was recognized for his abilities at Michigan State University, garnering All American honors in 1965 and 1966. The following year, the defensive end was the number one draft pick and was scooped up by the Baltimore Colts. He spent four years at Baltimore, with the Colts becoming Super Bowl champs in 1971.
In 1972, he was traded to the Oakland Raiders, then traded again to the Houston Oilers in 1975, where he would finish his nine year career in the NFL.
The 6 foot 7 Smith will perhaps be forever remembered as Lt. Moses Hightower in the popular Police Academy movies. They don’t make movies like that anymore, do they?
Prior to appearing in the Police Academy flicks, he had numerous guest stints on TV, including Good Times, Charlie’s Angels, BJ and the Bear, Eight Is Enough, Vega$, Taxi and Hart to Hart, just to name a few. His debut as Cadet Moses Hightower in the first Academy film was in 1984. According to imdb, he most recently appeared in the 2010 horror flick Blood River.
Remember his Miller Lite commercials with Dick Butkus? Corny, yes, but oh so classic!
There has been scant information about Bubba and his personal life, but one site claims that he was at one time married but later divorced. It is unclear if he had any children. There have been little details given surrounding his death, although The Los Angeles Times reports that he was found dead this morning by a caretaker. The story is developing, and this post will be updated as more information becomes available.
Check out the videos below and take a walk down memory lane. RIP Bubba, you will be missed!