Police Academy star Bubba Smith found dead

Athlete-turned-actor who played Moses Hightower has passed away aged 66

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Bubba Smith, the actor perhaps best known as Moses Hightower in the Police Academy films, has passed away aged 66.

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According to Los Angeles County coroner’s spokesman Ed Winter, the 6’7” comedy star was found in his LA home.

Coroners are said to be investigating the actor’s demise but a police spokesman opined that the death appears to have been the result of natural causes.

Bubba, born Charles Aaron Smith, moved into acting after a successful professional football career, spending nine seasons in the NFL as a defensive player before landing a number of small film and TV roles in the late 70s.

His breakthrough role came in 1984 with the release of the first Police Academy film, which saw Smith cast alongside Steve Guttenberg, David Graf and Michael Winslow as the gentle giant florist-turned-policeman Moses Hightower, a role Smith reprised in every Police Academy sequel bar Part 7: Mission to Moscow.

During his career Smith also appeared in MacGyver, Married with Children and Charlie’s Angels.

See Smith in action in a scene from Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment:

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F57JSA7ZKs