Charles Aaron “Bubba” Smith was found dead on Wednesday in his Baldwin Hills home. There were no signs of foul play and the L.A. Counties coroner’s office has decided not to conduct an autopsy as they believe Smith died of natural causes.
The football and acting star was born in Beaumont, Texas and was drafted as the NFL’s 1967 No. 1 draft pick out of Michigan State University. The 6-foot-7 Smith, played pro football from 1967-1976 taking home a Super Bowl ring in 1971 with the Indianapolis Colts and also playing in two Pro Bowls. Bubba was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988.
"I'm saddened by it," Colts owner Jim Irsay told ESPN. " I remember my first training camp in 1972 in Golden, Colo. I spent a lot of time with him there. He was a great guy. He was a giant, the biggest player on the field."
Though Bubba Smith was a Gridiron star, many younger fans (like myself) knew of Smith only through his acting career. Bubba played numerous acting roles throughout the 70’s and 80’s but was best known as “Sergeant Moses Hightower,” in the popular comedy, “Police Academy.”
Bubba Smith was known as a humble and kind soul who had no pretense. His death his a sad day for sports fans and movie buffs alike. Below is a video highlighting his role with Police Academy.