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Former NFL star/actor Bubba Smith dead at 66

Bubba Smith in 2009 (photo by J Feldman via wikipedia commons)

Former NFL star Bubba Smith, who was one-of the-most feared defensive ends on the field to being a very successful actor off the field, died on Wednesday, he was 66.

The Los Angeles County coroner and a police spokesman said that Smith was found dead at his Baldwin Hills home. Nothing about his death is suspicious. There is no known cause of his death at this time.

The number one overall pick in the 1967 draft after a phenomenal career at Michigan State, Smith, who was 6’7, 265-pounds, spent five years with the Baltimore Colts and he played two seasons each with Oakland and Houston. He was a Super Bowl champion with the Colts in 1971.

In 1969, Smith played for the Colts against the New York Jets in the Super Bowl. Led by Joe Namath, the Jets of the American Football League upset the NFL champion Colts 16-7 in Miami.

Smith was one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, often drawing a double-team by offensive lineman, he was elected to two Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988.

Born Charles Aaron Smith, Bubba played high school football for his father, Willie Ray Smith, in Beaumont, Texas, before playing for the Michigan State Spartans, where he was an All-American in 1966.

For the Spartans, he played for some of the school’s best teams under legendary coach Duffy Daugherty. His number 95 jersey was retired in 2006.

In 1965 and 1966, he helped the East Lansing college go 19-1-1 and win consecutive Big Ten titles.

During the 1966 season, Smith was a member of the Spartans when they played Notre Dame, both undefeated, played to a 10-10 tie. The Spartans finished second behind the then #1 Fighting Irish that season.

Smith played in several television series, “Good Times,” “Charlie’s Angels,” and “Half Nelson.” He also is best-known for being a regular in the Miller Lite commercials which featured for the first time, retired football players. Also, his most memorable role was playing Moses Hightower, the police officer in the “Police Academy” series.

 

compiled from staff, NFL, Radio & TV news

 

 

 

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