Coroner: Football Player/Actor Bubba Smith Died From Overdose of Diet Pills, Heart Disease

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Charles “Bubba” Smith was a big guy, as we all know from his role as Hightower in the Police Academy movies, those funny Miller Lite commercials and his terrific NFL Pro Bowl career.

Unfortunately, it appears his desire to shed some of that weight led to his Aug. 4 death at the age of 66.

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office confirms that initial autopsy results show the football great turned actor died as the result of acute phentermine intoxication combined with heart disease.

Phentermine is the generic name for a drug supplement used to speed weight loss in overweight people by decreasing appetite as long as they exercise regularly and maintain a low-calorie diet.

According to Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter, Smith’s ongoing condition of atherosclerosis, or the thickening of the artery walls of his heart, along with a history of hypertension were also contributing factors in his passing.

The manner of his death however still remains undetermined. The body of the 6-foot-7 NFL star was found in his Los Angeles-area residence, and it was initially thought he succumbed to natural causes.

A final coroner’s report is expected to be released in the next two weeks.

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