Actor and football great Aaron “Bubba” Smith died Wednesday in his Los Angeles home. He was 66.

For most of the Blast readers out there, Smith’s football career, which spanned the 1970s, probably isn’t what you think of when you hear his name. You’re more likely to be familiar with his hilarious turn as Cadet Moses Highwater in the Police Academy movies, which began in 1984. Smith played a gentle giant in all six movies.

But his acting career didn’t start there. In 1979, he appeared in a now iconic commercial for Miller Lite and its “easy-open can.” For those of you who don’t remember, his giant hands just ripped the top right off.

After the Police Academy Series, Smith showed up in cameo roles throughout the 1990s. He appeared on everything from Married with Children to MacGyver to Family Matters and even Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Talk about versatility!

Of course, his athletic career was impressive as well. The 6-foot-7 Smith played on three teams throughout his career: the Colts (1967-1971), Raiders (1973-1974) and (1975-1976).

Officials believe he died of natural causes.

Football player Bubba Smith was known for his role as Cadet Moses Highwater in the Police Academy Movies

About The Author

Erica J. Marcus is a Blast Contributing Editor

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