Celebrity deaths in 2012 - In Memoriam

Slideshow posted in Photos | Friday, January 20, 2012

135 of 186: Bubba Smith, an actor and former NFL player who appeared in the 'Police Academy' comedy films, was found dead at age 66 in his Los Angeles home by a caretaker on Aug. 3, 2011.

In the 'Police Academy' movies, Smith played Moses Hightower (see photo, above). The movies told of a group of misfit cop cadets and the first 1984 film starred Steve Guttenberg and 'Sex and the City' actress Kim Cattrall. A year earlier, Smith famously stripped down for the nude magazine Playgirl.

Smith began his on-screen acting career in the late 1970s and appeared on shows such as 'Charlie's Angels,' 'The New Adventures of Wonder Woman,' 'Taxi,' 'Married with Children' and 'MacGyver.'

His last known role was in the 2010 independent movie 'DaZe: Vol Too,' which also stars 'Twilight' actor Jackson Rathbone and Gary Busey.

Smith played football at Michigan State University in the 1960s (see photo, above) and later became an NFL defensive end and tackle for the Baltimore Colts, Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers. (flickr.com/photos/cedarbend / Warner Bros. Pictures)