Bubba Smith, American professional football player, Died at 66

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Dead, Charles Aaron “Bubba” Smith on August 3, 2011 at the age 66, he was an American professional football player who became an actor after his retirement from the sport.

He first came into prominence at Michigan State University, where he twice earned All-American honours as a defensive end on the Spartans football team.

Born on February 28, 1945 in Orange, Texas to Willie Ray Smith Sr. and Georgia Oreatha Curl Smith, and was raised in nearby Beaumont.

His father, Willie Ray Smith, Sr., was a football coach who accumulated 235 victories in a career spent at three high schools in the Beaumont area.

It was at Charlton-Pollard High School in Beaumont where the son got to play for the father.

After leaving professional football, Smith began his acting career in small movie and television roles in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

In 1967, Smith was the first overall pick in the NFL draft, and went to the Baltimore Colts for an impressive seven seasons as a defensive end.

As a member of the Colts, Smith was selected All-Pro once and All-Conference twice, played in the 1968 NFL championship game and two Pro Bowls in 1970 and 1971 before helping to bring the team to Super Bowl III against the New York Jets, and Super Bowl V against the Dallas Cowboys in 1971.

The Colts lost the former, but captured the championship in the latter, though the game itself was, according to many critics and fans, an error-riddled debacle, with both teams setting Super Bowl records for most turnovers and most penalties.

Smith himself would refuse to wear his championship ring, citing the poor quality of play.

Knee surgery forced Smith to miss the 1972 season, after which he was traded to the Oakland Raiders.

He returned to his home state in 1975 to play out the remainder of his professional career with the Houston Oilers until 1977.

He is perhaps best known for his role as Moses Hightower in the Police Academy movie series, a role he reprised in all but one of the Police Academy sequels.

Smith appeared in the 1982 TV film Fighting Back: The Rocky Bleier Story.

He was Arnold the driver in the 1983 movie Stroker Ace that cast stars such as Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Jim Nabors, and Loni Anderson.

He was a supporting character in the 1981–82 flop Open All Night.

He appeared in the episode “All Night Security Dude” of the hit television series Married… with Children as the character “Spare Tire” Dixon and in “Dud Bowl 2” (season 10, episode 10) as himself.

He was the longtime spokesman of Baltimore-area law firm Cohen, Snyder, Eisenberg & Katzenberg.

Smith starred in the short-lived television series Blue Thunder, partnering with Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive star Dick Butkus, with whom he frequently co-starred in advertisements for Miller Lite beer, as well as their joint cameo in Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990).

Smith also appeared in Tales of the Gold Monkey, in the episode called “God Save the Queen”, along with fellow actor James Avery.

He appeared on Good Times as Claude, a bodyguard/thug working for Marion “Sweet Daddy” Williams.

He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988, and saw his Spartans jersey, Number 95, retired on September 23, 2006, prior to his alma mater’s match against their old rivals, Notre Dame.

He died from acute drug intoxication and heart disease.

Phentermine, a weight-loss drug, was found in his system.

His heart weighed more than twice that of an average human heart.

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