In Memorium: Burt Reynolds (1936-2018)

One of the all-time great Hollywood movie stars is gone.

Legendary actor Burt Reynolds, known for such films as Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit, and Boogie Nights passed away from cardiac arrest on September 6th at a Florida hospital.  Reynolds was eighty-two years old.

In a career that spanned six decades and dozens of films, Reynolds made a habit of playing fun-loving and overtly masculine characters.  Starting in the late 70s, Reynolds was the #1 box office attraction for five straight years with such hits as The Cannonball Run and The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas.

Although a solid leading man, Burt Reynolds freely admitted in his 2015 memoir that for years he cared more about having fun than stretching himself as an actor.  In later years this attitude seemed to reverse itself as evidenced by his Oscar nomination for 1997’s Boogie Nights, where he played porn director Jack Horner.  Reynolds would ultimately lose the award to Robin Williams but did win a Golden Globe for the performance.

A notorious ladies man, Reynolds had several noted relationships over the years including Loni Anderson, Sally Field, Dinah Shore, and Judy Carne.

Reynolds was no stranger to television either, staring in various television shows over the years, everything from Perry Mason to Robot Chicken.  From 1990 to 1994 he played Wood Newton in the sitcom Evening Shade, an ex-professional football player for the Steelers who returns to his hometown to coach his old high school.  Most recently he voiced himself on an episode of Archer in 2012.

Burt Reynolds is also noted for some of the roles he didn’t play.  The Hollywood icon turned down such famous roles as Han Solo and John McClane in Star Wars and Die Hard respectively.  In addition, Reynolds said that the role he regretted turning down the most was that of ex-astronaut Garrett Breedlove in Terms of Endearment.  The role ultimately went to Jack Nicholson who went on to win an Oscar for the performance.

The ex-Florida State half back was set to star in Quentin Tarantino’s latest film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood as George Spahn, however Reynolds role wasn’t set to be filmed for a few weeks.  His final film role will be Defining Moments which as yet does not have a release date.

Burt Reynolds leaves behind an adopted son Quinton.

Rest in peace Mr. Reynolds.  You will be sorely missed.