The Los Angeles Times reports the sad news that Charles Aaron “Bubba” Smith was found dead in his home, apparently of natural causes. The former NFL player turned actor was 66.
During his professional football career, Smith was a two-time Pro Bowler as a defensive end and tackle, and won a Super Bowl ring with the Baltimore Colts. But he’s best remembered now (at least by nerds of my generation who watched too much HBO when they were growing up) as Moses Hightower from the long-running “Police Academy” series. He appeared in the first six theatrical films (wisely bowing out for the franchise-destroying final entry, “Mission to Moscow”), and delivered many solid gags about being a big tall guy who was big and tall. Dressing in drag, flipping cars, wrestling an aligator, he was up for anything.
I shall memorialize him now the only way I know how: with a YouTube clip:
There are lots more unembeddable Hightower highlights on YouTube. I recommended this one, where he flips the car and then punches a hostage-taker through a door and down some stairs, or my favorite, where Hightower learns to drive.
I hope wherever Bubba Smith is now, the cars are easy to lift and large enough to accommodate his size.