NFL Star and Actor “Bubba” Smith Dead at 66

From the gridiron to the big screen, Smith was all class.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

Bubba Smith

The sports world has lost yet another icon as former NFL defensive end and longtime television and movie actor Charles Aaron "Bubba" Smith was found dead in his Los Angeles home on Wednesday.


Smith, a Michigan State grad, was as dominant a defensive lineman in college as their ever had been. He won All-America honors in 1965 and 1966, and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988. Michigan State would have his number 95 jersey retired in 2006.


Smith conveyed a stellar college career into the number 1 overall pick in the 1967 draft by the Baltimore Colts. He would spend nine seasons in the NFL, playing for three teams — the Colts, Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers. He appeared in two Pro Bowls and was named First-Team All-Pro in 1971.


Smith played in two Super Bowls;Super Bowl III, which the Colts was upset by the New York Jets , and Super Bowl V, which the Colts won with a last-second field goal against the Dallas Cowboy.


Smith retired after the 1976 season, having been known for being nearly impossible to stop and as a sack machine in an era that didn't record those stats.


After a solid professional football career, Smith turned his attentions where many athletes do, to acting. He would go on to have some small movie and television roles before eventually finding his acting career defining gig in the widely popular Police Academy movies. Smith played the super strong Moses Hightower and excelled as the strong silent type who provided the occasional slapstick moment.


He would also go on to guest star in other TV shows as well as be a successful spokesman for Miller Lite Beer.


There have been many football stars that have gone on into acting, with mixed results, but none stand out more than Smith foe me. I was a huge fan of the Police Academy Movies growing up so I will always remember “Bubba” Smith with a smile on my face