Published: Fri, September 07, 2018
Entertaiment | By Simon Arnold

Acting icon Burt Reynolds dead at 82

Acting icon Burt Reynolds dead at 82

Burt Reynolds, the ever-mustached actor with roles in a a handful of classics like Boogie Nights, The Longest Yard, Smokey and the Bandit, and Deliverance, has died.

His manager confirms to US Weekly that the "Smokey And The Bandit" star went into a cardiac arrest at a Florida hospital on September 6 and passed away with his family by his side. He'd go on to star in a string of memorable hits including White Lightning (1973), The Longest Yard (1974), Gator (1976), Semi-Tough (1977) and, his most famous film, Smokey and the Bandit (1977).

Asked to come up with his own epitaph, Reynolds said, "He lived a hell of a life, and did his best - his very best - not to hurt anybody". "I was interested in having a good time", Reynolds said in his 2015 memoir, "But Enough About Me" about his career.

Born Burton Milo Reynolds Jr. on February 11, 1936 in Waycross, Georgia, he grew up in Florida's Palm Beach County.

Reynolds suffered from several health issues in recent years. He returned to television before making a comeback in the 1997 film Boogie Nights as porn director Jack Horner, a role that finally earned him his first Academy Award Nomination.

The actor was also a football player in his college days at Florida State, where he roomed with Lee Corso.

Reynolds inspired a wide range of responses over his long, erratic career: critical acclaim and critical scorn, commercial success and box office bombs. Reynolds continued to support Florida State after becoming a big-time Hollywood star and was often spotted on the sidelines or in the stands during gameday. He moved to NY and landed minor stage and TV roles before making his film debut in 1961.

His profile got a bump in the early seventies when he posed naked on a bear skin rug for Cosmopolitan magazine, but his film breakthrough arose shortly after with Deliverance - another story of backwoods behaviour - in which Reynolds starred opposite Jon Voight.

It was the original "Smokey" in 1977 that Reynolds is best known for; a Hal Needham action comedy flick that featured Reynolds as Bo "Bandit" Darville, a man hired to transport 400 cases of beer from Texas to Atlanta in 28 hours in his black Pontiac Trans-Am.

Despite a career of defining roles, Reynolds also turned down a number of what would become some of Hollywood's biggest parts.

"Great to see Mr. De Niro, who I love, and. you know, all the people that I know", he said.

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