Police Academy Star 'Hightower' Dies In LA

Charles "Bubba" Smith, who played the giant police officer Moses Hightower in the Police Academy comedy films, has died aged 66.

The film star's body was found at his home in Los Angeles - he is believed to have died of natural causes.

Smith initially found fame as a National Football League lineman who won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Colts.

After retiring, he turned to the small screen where he appeared in a number of TV roles.

But it was as Moses Hightower, a menacingly tall but soft-spoken police recruit in Police Academy, that he really made his mark.

The 6ft 7in star appeared in six out of seven of the Police Academy franchise that began in 1984.

The premise of the original story was that a new mayor announced a policy insisting a police department accepted all willing recruits.

That idea brought in a group of misfit recruits and the film was based on their antics as they tried to prove themselves capable of being police officers.

As well as gaining a cult cinema following, Smith also used his giant appeal in several Miller Lite commercials where he could be seen ripping off the tops of beer cans.