Burt Reynolds has died at 82. He passed away at a Florida medical center yesterday after a heart attack.
Reynolds, who was raised in Florida, starred in a bunch of big hits likes ‘Deliverance’, "The Longest Yard', ‘Smokey and the Bandit’, and ‘The Cannonball Run’. He was also a TV star and won an Emmy for ‘Evening Shade’ in 1991. He was the first non-comedian to guest host for Johnny Carson on the 'Tonight Show'.
Each year from 1978 through 1982, he was the top-grossing star in Hollywood, the longest stretch of anyone since Bing Crosby in the 1940s.
He dated the most dazzling beauties including Farrah Fawcett, Faye Dunaway, Sarah Miles, tennis star Chris Evert, Kim Basinger and Sally Field - whom he described as the ‘love of my life’.
Legend had it that the only woman who turned him down was JFK’s widow Jackie.
He famously posed for a naked centerfold in Cosmopolitan in 1972. It was a first, and it was so wildly popular that the issue sold out and had to be reprinted. Some 1.5 million copies were snapped up.
Reynolds was known for passing up some amazing roles in films which became huge.
He turned down Han Solo in Star Wars, John McClane in Die Hard (made famous by Bruce Willis) and Garrett Breedlove in Terms Of Endearment. Jack Nicholson won an Oscar for his performance in the role in Endearment, and Reynolds once said that was the worst mistake of his career. He also apparently declined the role played by Richard Gere in Pretty Woman. Any one of these hits might have transformed his financial circumstances.
In 1996 he filed for bankruptcy blaming bad business deals, such as owning a nightclub and a stock-car racing team, and a restaurant chain.
Celebrities React to Burt’s Passing
Celebrities have been taking to social media to pay tribute to Burt Reynolds.
His former girlfriend and co-star Sally Field said:
“There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away. They stay alive, even 40 years later. My years with Burt never leave my mind. He will be in my history and my heart, for as long as I live. Rest, Buddy.”
Reynolds' second wife Loni Anderson (married from 1988 to 1994) said:
"(My son) Quinton and I are extremely touched by the tremendous outpouring of love and support from friends and family throughout the world. He was a big part of my life for twelve years and Quinton's loving father for thirty years. We will miss him and his great laugh.”