On February 28, 1945 a man-child was born who would reshape the plains of cinema for ex-pro athletes turned actors. On August 3rd, 2011 at age 66 and standing 6 ft 7 in tall, that man died and undoubtably ducked as he passed under the gates of Heaven. I am of course referring to none other than Bubba Smith, aka Moses Hightower, aka “That super tall black dude from Police Academy”. Now if you’ve never seen the movie Police Academy, do yourself a favor and go rent or buy it tonight. And don’t worry if Police Academy #1 is out of stock because there are six more comedic gems where that came from. Bubba Smith plays Cadet Moses Hightower, a former florist turned humble anchor of his police academy class who enforces the law with his sheer braun and his intimidating handle bar mustache. He lit up the silver screen with enthralling narrative such as this scene between and him and Steve Guttenberg’s character Cadet Carey Mahoney:
|Cadet Carey Mahoney:||What are you doing at the academy?|
|Cadet Moses Hightower:||I got bored with my chosen profession.|
|Cadet Carey Mahoney:||What was that?|
|Cadet Moses Hightower:||I was a florist.|
|Cadet Carey Mahoney:||A florist?|
|Cadet Moses Hightower:||You know, flowers and sh**.|
The talent does not stop there. What you may not know is that Bubba Smith was also a two time All American and Super Bowl champ. Yea, I didn’t think he had the size to play football either. As a defensive tackle at Michigan State, fans literally used to chant “Kill, Bubba, Kill” as he tore the heads off quarterbacks. Michigan State retired his number 95 jersey and in 1988 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. After college he was the #1 draft pick for the Baltimore Colts and spent a total of 9 seasons in the N.F.L. He played in 2 Pro Bowls and in 1971 he lead the Colts to a 16-13 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V.
To top off his resume, he also had several appearances in memorable miller lite commercials from the 80s. Here is a shinning example the master practicing his craft: target=”_blank”>Bubba Smith link
He was man of few words but numerous accomplishments. He forged a legacy in Hollywood that opened the doors to other freakishly huge pro athlete actors so that they can make their own cinematic history. People like Shaquille O’neal and his critically acclaimed performance in Kazaam. We tip our caps (upward) and salute Bubba Smith for a job well done. My only hope is that God can reach to pat him on the back.