Branding the American West: Paintings &...
June 22 - September 9, 2017
Actor and football great, Charles A. "Bubba" Smith was born February 28, 1945 in Beaumont, Texas. He graduated from Charlton-Pollard High School where he played for his father, Coach Willie Ray Smith, Sr. Together, with this brothers Willie Ray, Jr. and Tody, Bubba made Carlton-Pollard a powerhouse in high school football.
In Bubb'a senior year, the school went 11-0 and college recruiters beat down the door at the Smith household until Bubba decided to attend Michigan State University. When he reached East Lansing, he was 6' 8" and 280 pounds, bigger than almost all offensive linemen in the late 1960s. Because of his basketball and track history in high school, however, Smith wasn't just big - he was fast and coordinated as well. With Smith shoring up the Spartan defense, MSU held Michigan to minus fifty-one rushing yards, Ohio State to minus twenty-two and Notre Dame to minus twelve. In 1965 and 1966, the Spartans went 19-1-1, willing two Big Ten and two national titles. A popular Spartan cheer of "Kill, Bubba, Kill!" was echoed throughout his career.
In 1967, Smith was the No. 1 draft pick in the NFL and he was chosen by the Colts. Bubba remained with them through the 1972 season. After missing his final season with the Colts due to an injury, Smith was then traded to the Oakland Raiders. In 1975, he moved to Texas to play for the Houston Oilers until 1977 where he played his final game. A ten-year veteran of the NFL, Bubba wrote his memoirs, "Kill, Bubba, Kill," with Hal De Windt in 1983. He has been honored by the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988, All-America in 1965 and 1966, All-Big Ten in 1965 and 1966, UPI Lineman of the Year in 1966, NFL No. 1 Draft Pick in 1967 and Michigan State Hall of Fame in 1992.
Upon leaving football, he developed a successful career as an actor in small movie and television roles. He is best known for his role as Moses Hightower in the "Police Academy" movie series. In addition, he had roles in "Stroker Ace," "Black Moon Rising," "The Wild Pair," "Gremlins 2," "The Naked Truth," "The Silence of the Hams," "Holy Matrimony," and "Down 'n Dirty." Smith died on August 3, 2011 in Los Angeles, California from natural causes.
This information is courtesy of the Beaumont Enterprise.