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Naked Gun Actor & NFL Running Back OJ Simpson Dead At 76

O.J. Simpson, the former football star and erstwhile actor who spent many of his later years in court, is dead at 76 years old. According to his family, Simpson died from complications involving cancer.

A statement released by the Simpson family (per ABC News) reads, "On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer. 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."

Simpson was known for many things, including his tenure as a running back in the NFL (playing for the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers) and working as a broadcaster. He also appeared in the "Naked Gun" trilogy with Leslie Nielsen. Simpson was ultimately acquitted of murdering his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, but that case overshadowed the remainder of his life.

O.J. Simpson's later years were largely spent in court

Beyond his football career and the "Naked Gun" movies (where he starred alongside Leslie Nielsen playing Detective Norberg in the police-based parody films), there's no question that O.J. Simpson's name is synonymous with the word "trial." In 1995, Simpson was acquitted of killing Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, but murmurs that he did commit the murders and was wrongly acquitted followed him forever. In a 1997 case that directly followed, Simpson was found liable for their deaths and was hit with a $33.5 million payout to Brown and Goldman's families, but he couldn't afford to pay in full and the families still have not received the full amount. The initial trial — during which Simpson was found not guilty — was dramatized in Ryan Murphy's acclaimed series "American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson," where he's played by Cuba Gooding jr.

Simpson wrote a book in 2006 titled "If I Did It" — which certainly raised eyebrows around the world — but his legal issues weren't over. Aside from lawsuits over back taxes and other financial problems, Simpson broke into a Las Vegas casino in 2007 and stole sports memorabilia that he claimed were previously stolen from him; he was found guilty of robbery in 2008 and served time in prison before being released in 2017.