Burt Reynolds, Star Of Smokey And The Bandit, Dies At Age 82

Sergio Cunningham
September 8, 2018

During the 1970s Reynolds was one of the biggest box office draws in the world, starring in hit films including The Longest Yard, Smokey And The Bandit and Semi-Tough.

Reynolds received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of adult film director Jack Horner in Paul Thomas Anderson's 1997 flick "Boogie Nights". Reynolds also won plaudits for his role on the 1990s television sitcom, Evening Shade.

Reynolds became a sex icon in the '70s and '80s, exuding a rugged, irresistible kind of manliness with his stark mustache and charming swagger.

Burt Reynolds died today at the age of 82, and for many, vehicle enthusiasts in particular, his passing represents more than the end of a career or a legend. "I will always love you, Dolly".

In the following years, Reynolds appeared mainly in supporting and smaller roles on a number of films and TV shows. That "was the closest to me, in terms of, I see myself in that character and it was a classic film", Reynolds told USA TODAY.

He is survived by adopted son Quinton from his second marriage. He also starred in the notorious 1975 musical flop "At Long Last Love", a film so atrocious that director Peter Bogdanovich publicly apologized for making it.

"Even now, it's hard on me", he told Vanity Fair. "I didn't open myself to new writers or risky parts because I wasn't interested in challenging myself as an actor, I was interested in having a good time", he said. In 1977 he starred with Sally Field and Jackie Gleason in the comedy programmer Smokey and the Bandit, which proved to be his most successful undertaking ever and was followed by the inevitable sequels.

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Reynolds died on Thursday morning at the Jupiter Medical Center in Florida, his manager, Erik Kritzer, said in an email.

Reynolds was born February 11, 1936, in Lansing, Michigan, and moved to Riviera, Florida, where his war-hero father Milo was the chief of police.

"He returned to Florida State in 1957 but once again was sidelined by injury, which ended a promising career", the Seminoles added.

Turning his attention to acting, he made the move to NY, struggling to find work for several years until landing a role on stage alongside Charlton Heston in Mr. Roberts in 1956. Reynolds often was cast in Westerns, including the popular Gunsmoke television series in the 1960s.

Reynolds came to stardom in Deliverance and Smokey and the Bandit in the 1970s, and was still making movies more than 40 years later.

An Oscar nominee and Golden Globe victor, Burt was one of the most recognisable faces on television and cinema in the 1970s and 1980s.

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