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Bubba Smith, Former NFL Player, ‘Police Academy’ Actor, Dies

Baltimore Colts defensive end Bubba Smith in 1968. Photographer: Tony Tomsic/Getty Images
Baltimore Colts defensive end Bubba Smith in 1968. Photographer: Tony Tomsic/Getty Images

Aug. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Bubba Smith, who appeared in the “Police Academy” movie series after his National Football League career, died yesterday. He was 66.

The former Pro Bowl defensive end was found at his home in Los Angeles and appeared to have died of natural causes, Karen Rayner, a public information officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, said in a telephone interview. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office is investigating the cause of death.

The 6-foot-7 (2 meter) Smith was selected by Baltimore with the first overall pick in the 1967 NFL draft after a college career at Michigan State.

He spent five of his nine NFL seasons with the Colts and made his first Pro Bowl appearance in 1970, when the Colts won the Super Bowl. Smith also played with the Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers.

After retiring from the NFL, Smith began a television and film career. He appeared in prime-time shows including “Wonder Woman,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “Eight is Enough,” before becoming best known for his role as police officer Moses Hightower in six of the seven “Police Academy” movies.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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