‘Police Academy’ star Bubba Smith dies aged 66

Former American football player's death not thought to be suspicious

Police Academy star Bubba Smith has died at the age of 66.

The actor, who played Moses Hightower in six films in the comedy franchise, was found dead by police at his home in Los Angeles, reports BBC News.

Although the cause of death has not been confirmed, police said it does not appear to be suspicious.

Smith moved into acting after finding fame as a Super Bowl-winning American football player in the 1970s.

In his most famous role as Hightower, the 6ft 7in actor was known for his gentle character and physical strength, which he used to catch bad guys in a variety of comic ways.

He made small appearances on TV shows such as Wonder Woman, Charlie’s Angels and Taxi before starring in the first Police Academy movie in 1984.

Smith‘s co-star in the films Steve Guttenberg has paid tribute, telling TMZ.com:

Only his gift for caring about his friends and family could compare with his achievements on the football field, film and television. He also laughed like no other.

Michael Winslow, who played Larvelle Jones in the movies, added:

I’m devastated. He was was a very good friend, we’ve known each other for 25 years.