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Bubba Smith's death: No signs of foul play, police say

August 3, 2011 |  3:35 pm

Bubba Smith in Police Academy Bubba Smith, the former NFL star and "Police Academy" movie actor, appears to have died of natural causes, but authorities said an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

Police said there were no signs of foul play at Smith's Baldwin Hills home, where he was found dead Wednesday afternoon. He was 66.

His caretaker discovered the body and called police.

PHOTOS: Notable sports deaths of 2011

The autopsy will be performed later this week, but coroner's officials did not immediately say when. It's routine for the coroner to conduct autopsies when a doctor does not sign a death certificate, which is what happened in Smith's case, authorities said.

Smith was a 6-foot-7 National Football League defensive end and tackle for the Baltimore Colts, Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers.

He also was a star college football player at Michigan State University. Smith played in one of the most famous college games, dubbed "The Game of the Century" by the media, against Notre Dame. The 1966 game between the top two nationally-ranked teams ended in a 10-10 tie.

He later had a career in Hollywood as movie and TV actor. He also was a pitchman for Miller Lite and appeared in several memorable commercials in the 1970s.


Bubba Smith, NFL star and 'Police Academy' actor, found dead at home

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Bubba Smith plays Moses Hightower in the "Police Academy" movies.

Credit: Warner Bros.