Charles Aaron "Bubba" Smith rose to fame in the 1960s as a professional football player, playing defensive end for the Baltimore Colts, Oakland Raiders, and finally the Houston Oilers.
After leaving the NFL, Smith kicked off an acting career, with his most notable role being Police Office Moses Hightower in the Police Academy series. Smith portrayed Hightower, who was a florist before becoming a police officer, in six of the seven Police Academy films, being absent in the seventh and final film (so far), Police Academy: Mission to Moscow. I'd like to say that Smith jumped ship before it sank, but I'm pretty sure that series sank long before entry number seven.
In addition to the Police Academy series and a handful of other films, Smith also played small roles on a number of television shows including Open All Night, Half Nelson, and Blue Thunder, with guest spots on Taxi, MacGyver, Married with Children, Family Matters, and Sabrina Teenage Witch.
Smith, 66, was found deceased in his Los Angeles home by his caretaker the morning of August 3rd, 2011. Early reports suggest the actor died of natural causes. While 66 is a young age to go, especially of natural causes, it's a relief to hear of a celebrity who lived to his end, rather than cutting out early under fishy circumstances.
For those of you with Netflix, the Burt Reynolds action-comedy Stroker Ace is available on Instant Watch and features Smith in a small role.