Movie Icon Burt Reynolds, Dead at 82
Burt Reynolds, the former football player who would later become a hugely popular and Oscar-nominated actor, starring in such iconic films such as Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit and Boogie Nights, has died at the age of 82.
Reynolds died Thursday morning at Jupiter Medical Center in Florida from cardiac arrest.
Although Reynolds won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in 1997’s Boogie Nights (he lost the Oscar to Robin Williams for his role in Good Will Hunting), Reynolds was best known for his fun, frivolous roles.
“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.” – Burt Reynolds, in his 2015 memoir, But Enough About Me
In addition to his own filmography, Reynolds is also known for the roles he didn’t take – turning down the part of Han Solo in Star Wars, Shirley MacLaine’s astronaut/love interest in Terms of Endearment, the Richard Gere role in Pretty Woman and the Bruce Willis role in Die Hard. Still, Reynolds was the top grossing star in his heyday, from 1978 through 1982.
“If I had to put only one of my movies in a time capsule, it would be Deliverance,” Reynolds writes in his memoir. “It’s the best movie I’ve ever been in. It proved I could act, not only to the public, but to me.”
Reynolds was married twice – to British actress Judy Carne from 1963-66 and WKRP in Cincinnati TV sitcom star Loni Anderson from 1988-93. Both marriages were tempestuous. Over the years he was also romantically linked to Dinah Shore, Sally Field (his co-star in the Smokey and the Bandit films), and tennis player Chris Evert.
Reynolds told Vanity Fair in 2015 that ending his five year relationship with Field in the early 80s was one of the biggest mistakes of his life, earlier this year calling her the love of his life.
His last completed film, the comedy Defining Moments, is set for release this December. At the time of his death, Reynolds was filming Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Reynolds is survived by his son, Quinton, that he adopted during his marriage to Anderson.
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