Legendary NFL defender Bubba Smith passes away at age 66
Former NFL defensive end and longtime television and movie actor Charles Aaron "Bubba" Smith was found dead in his Los Angeles home on Wednesday. Coroner's reports have not yet been released, but according to the Los Angeles Times, it is believed that Smith died of natural causes.
Smith attended Michigan State, where he was one of the most dominant collegiate defensive linemen of all time. He won All-America honors in 1965 and 1966, and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988.
Selected first overall in the 1967 NFL draft by the Baltimore Colts, Smith soon became, along with Deacon Jones, one of the first truly modern-style pass-rushers and sack artists. He played long before sacks were first tabulated as an official NFL statistic in 1982, but he was known from the start of his professional career to be nearly impossible to block.
He played for three teams — the Colts, Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers, 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 lost to the New York Jets in an enormous upset, and Super Bowl V, which the Colts won with a last-second field goal against the Dallas Cowboys. Smith retired after the 1976 season, having played in 111 regular-season games.
After his football career ended, Smith became perhaps even more well-known as an actor. He struck gold in the "Police Academy" series of movies, playing the hyper-strong Moses Hightower and providing a series of riotous slapstick scenes.
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The devil is a muthafuckin' liar, so you know I ain't worried, beeyotch! - (Reverend X)
So there's simultaneously a super secret team of giant robots and a super secret team of technologically enhanced super soldiers, and neither team knows about the other? The governments in these movies must be far more effective than our actual government. Well, damn it, I want some realism and mature adult themes in my giant robot and super soldier movies! - Suprmallet
I remember him playing a Fed in "Black Moon Rising" back in the 80s, and did quite well in the role. RIP.
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I had forgotten that Smith had a regular in the short-lived 1981 TV series Open All Night, which I enjoyed greatly at the time but haven't thought about in years.
I've only seen the first Police Academy film, and thought it was just OK, but Smith was probably the best thing in it, with a great, strong screen presence. He was the top-billed star in parts 5 and 6.
Be careful what you don't wish for. You may not get it.
According to the Associated Press, autopsy reports revealed that the 66-year-old, who was found at his Baldwin Hills home in early August by a caretaker, had high levels of phentermine -- a weight loss drug. Smith also had heart disease, an enlarged heart and up to 75 percent blockage of some blood vessels.
Sad to hear. I enjoyed his presence in the Police Academy flicks, as shitty as they were.
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