Police Academy star Bubba Smith dies aged 66The former NFL American Football player and star of the Police Academy franchise has passed away in Los Angeles.
Bubba Smith, who played Moses Hightower in the hugely successful 1980s ‘Police Academy’ franchise, has passed away at his home in Los Angeles, aged 66.
No official cause of death has yet been given, but it is thought police are not treating it as suspicious.
Smith first rose to fame as an American Football player in the 1960s, in a career which saw him win the Superbowl in 1971 with the Baltimore Colts, as a defensive end.
After retiring from the sport in 1976, Smith began a career as an actor, picking up various small parts in TV shows including ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Charlie’s Angels’, before landing his most well known recurring role as the aptly named Hightower, in 1984’s ‘Police Academy’.
The 6ft 7in actor went on to reprise the character in all but one of the six Police Academy sequels.
Smith’s co-star in the popular franchise, Steve Guttenberg, told TMZ in a statement: “Bubba was my friend. His generosity was far larger than his physical stature. Only his gift for caring about his friends and family could compare with his achievements on the football field, film and television. He also laughed like no other.”
Other ‘Police Academy’ co-stars, including Michael Winslow, who played Larvelle Jones, and GW Bailey, who played Captain Harris, also expressed their shock and sadness at the news via TMZ.
Said Bailey: “I was shocked and saddened to hear of Bubba's death. I am proud to say that Bubba was a dear friend and fellow Texan. He was one of a kind.”
While Winslow added: “I'm devastated. He was a very good friend, we've known each other for 25 years.”