August 4, 2011 / 12:25 AM / 8 years ago

Football star and actor Charles "Bubba" Smith dies

Former Michigan State football player and actor Charles "Bubba" Smith reacts to having his jersey number retired before the Notre Dame and Michigan State NCAA college football game in East Lansing, Michigan in this September 23, 2006 file photo. The former NFL star defensive end has died, according to media reports August 3, 2011. REUTERS/John Gress/Files

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Charles “Bubba” Smith, an NFL lineman who won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Colts and had a second career acting in several “Police Academy” films, has died. He was 66.

Smith’s body was found on Wednesday at his home in the Baldwin Hills suburb of Los Angeles, said Los Angeles police spokesman Officer Gregory Baek.

He is believed to have died of natural causes, but the coroner’s office has not made a final determination, police said.

Smith played for Michigan State University and entered the National Football League when he was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1967.

Aside from winning a Super Bowl with the Colts in 1971, Smith also went on to play with the Oakland Raiders and the Houston Oilers before he retired in 1976, after being twice selected to the Pro Bowl.

After retiring, Smith appeared in small television roles before he gained fame in “Police Academy” for playing Moses Hightower, a police recruit who was as soft-spoken as he was physically imposing.

Smith, who stood 6 foot 7 inches, starred in the first six “Police Academy” films, and also appeared in several Miller Lite commercials in which he ripped off the tops of beer cans.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Greg McCune

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