Published: Thu, September 06, 2018
Entertaiment | By Kelly Sanders

Film Star Burt Reynolds Dies at 82

Film Star Burt Reynolds Dies at 82

Reynolds made an acting resurgence in recent years, appearing in numerous films and TV shows.

With his trademark moustache, rugged looks and macho aura, he was a leading male sex symbol of the 1970s. He felt he ruined his chances for an Oscar nomination at the time because of his famous bearskin rug nude photo.

Reynolds was married twice and has one son, Quentin, with ex-wife Loni Anderson.

Another poor decision came around the release of Deliverance (1972). Years of bit parts on TV hadn't prepared audiences for his scarily ripped outdoorsman, who led Jon Voight, Ronny Cox and Ned Beatty on what would end up being a harrowing canoe trip in the Georgia backwoods.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that he was Hollywood's top-grossing actor from 1978 until 1982.

Many of his films were set in the South.

Smokey and the Bandit was one of Reynolds most successful films, earning $126 million and also introducing him to Sally Field where the two became a couple for a while.

Reynolds scored another major role as the lead in the Smokey and the Bandit series, which seemed to perfectly fit his image as a smooth and sharply sarcastic country boy with a disregard for authority. These included Stroker Ace, Cannonball Run II and Rent-a-Cop. "I was interested in having a good time", Reynolds said in his 2015 memoir, "But Enough About Me" about his career.

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He would later call Field "the one that got away".

At Palm Beach High School, he first made a name for himself as a football star and earned an athletic scholarship to Florida State University. He moved to NY and landed minor stage and TV roles before making his film debut in 1961. Reynolds would often substitute for Carson as a guest host.

"Well, being here at this time in my life and, you know, I didn't think it would last this long", he added about his incredible legacy. Of course, he also partook in some romantic comedy as well with turns in Starting Over, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas with Dolly Parton, Best Friends with Goldie Hawn and The Man Who Loved Women with Julie Andrews. That kind of star power has been rarely seen since then, and may never be seen again. He returned to television, where he'd gotten his start, mostly in Westerns, and produced his own sitcom, Evening Shade, which brought him an Emmy. He continued to appear in films in lesser but sometimes noteworthy roles.

Reynolds was nominated for an Oscar for his role in "Boogie Nights".

"I thought maybe this film is more important in a lot of ways than we've given it credit for", he said in an interview years later.

"I remember the first shot we did in Boogie Nights, where I drive the auto to Grauman's Theatre. It wasn't original. But if you have to steal, steal from the best".

Reynolds suffered from several health issues over the past decade.

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