The personal representative of the estate of football great Bubba Smith, the NFL player who later transitioned to being an actor, filed court papers asking that the will of the late defensive end be admitted to probate.
Elias Goldstein’s Los Angeles Superior Court petition was filed Monday on behalf of the estate of Charles “Bubba” Smith, whose post-football acting career included the role of Hightower in the “Police Academy” films. Smith also was featured on the television shows “Good Times,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Semi-Tough,” “Hart to Hart,” “Married With Children” and “Family Matters” as well as in ads for Miller Lite.
Goldstein announced last May that Smith had brain disease when the former player died in Los Angeles in August 2011 at age 66. Goldstein said at the time that he wanted to raise awareness of CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative illness afflicting unknown numbers of former athletes in contact sports.
The will, drafted in June 2010, asks that Smith’s property be distributed to his beneficiaries according to the living trust he established before his death. Smith’s parents are both dead, but he has a nephew, Dakota Smith, living in Walnut and a brother, Willie Ray Smith Jr., residing in Maryland.
Smith was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988. He was an All-American at Michigan State and played in a 10-10 tie with Notre Dame in 1966 that was viewed by some as one of the great games of the last century. He was one of only three players to have his jersey number, 95, retired by the program.
Smith was the No. 1 pick of the 1967 NFL draft. He played professionally for the Baltimore Colts, the Oakland Raiders and the Houston Oilers. He played in Super Bowls III and V and was on the winning team in the latter game.
—City News Service
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