OJ Simpson
Source: Movieclips YouTube

The former NFL star OJ Simpson died on Wednesday night at the age of 76 after a battle of cancer. While he is arguably best remembered for both his football career and for going on trial for the 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman, it’s easy to forget that in between, he had a lucrative career in Hollywood as an actor.

Join us for a walk down memory lane as we look at some of Simpson’s best film and television appearances.

Simpson Dead At 76

Simpson’s death was announced on social media on Thursday morning by his family, which includes the two children that he shared with Brown.

“On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer,” the family said. “He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren.”

“During this time of transition, his family asks that you please respect their wishes for privacy and grace. -The Simpson Family,” they added.

Related: OJ Simpson Claims He’s Afraid To Be In Los Angeles Due To Fears Of ‘Sitting Next To Whoever Did It’

Simpson’s Television Career

After becoming a star football player at USC, Simpson appeared on three television series in 1968, making his debut in an episode of “Dragnet,” according to the Internet Movie Database. The Los Angeles Times reported that Simpson’s “Dragnet” part was a non-speaking role, with Simpson portraying a recruit interested in joining Sgt. Joe Friday and his team at the LAPD.

Though Simpson was the number one draft pick for the Buffalo Bills in 1969, he continued to star in movies and television shows throughout the 1970s.

“… The challenge of doing different characters is what appeals to him. He’ll do as well on the screen some day as he does now in football,” Simpson’s then-manager Chuck Barnes said in 1974.

Arguably Simpson’s most well-known television role was in the 1977 ABC mini-series “Roots,” in which he played an African tribesman in the first part of the TV adaptation of Alex Haley’s novel.

In 1978, Simpson hosted an episode of “Saturday Night Live!,” and the next year, he founded his own film production company Orenthal Productions. When asked about his hopes and dreams in 1980, Simpson replied, “Winning an Oscar or an Emmy. I always put my fantasies in the realm of goals. The Oscar or the Emmy says you’ve reached a level of competence in this business, and I would love to have one.”

Related: OJ Simpson A ‘Completely Free Man’ After Parole Ends Early For Armed Robbery & Kidnapping Conviction

Simpson Stars In Naked Gun Trilogy

In 1988, Simpson starred in the movie The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! alongside Liam Neeson and Priscilla Presley. He portrayed Neeson’s friend on the police squad, and the trailer for the movie even stated, “O.J. Simpson, as you’ve never seen him before.”

Simpson went on to reprise his role in the 1991 sequel The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear and in 1994’s Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult.

Simpson’s final role before the murders of Brown and Goldman came in 1994’s TV movie pilot “Frogmen,” playing John “Bullfrog” Burke, the leader of a Navy SEALs team. Though NBC picked up the pilot to make it into a series, the network decided it would be “inappropriate” to air it after Simpson was put on trial for murder.

Though Simpson was eventually acquitted of the murders, many feel that he was guilty, and this spelled the end of his Hollywood career. Had the murders never happened, it’s likely that Simpson would have starred in many more Hollywood projects in the decades before his death.

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