Burt Reynolds, Star Of Smokey And The Bandit, Dies At Age 82

Burt Reynolds dies at the age of 82

The veteran actor starred in such iconic '70s films as "Deliverance", "The Longest Yard" and "Smokey and the Bandit", becoming one of the biggest sex symbols and box office draws of the decade.

According to reports, the star of Smokey and the Bandit, Deliverance and Boogie Nights was recovering from a short illness in hospital when he suffered a heart attack.

The moustachioed actor had undergone heart bypass surgery in 2010.

Reynolds was best known for his roles in Smokey and the Bandit, Boogie Nights and Cannonball Run.

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".

Reynolds is survived by his son, Quenton, whom he adopted with ex-wife Loni Anderson, when he was three days old.

The actor played porn director Jack Horner in the Paul Thomas Anderson film, though he later famously claimed to "hate" Anderson, and said he never watched "Boogie Nights" all the way through. I was interested in having a good time.

Reynolds was born in Lansing, Michigan, in 1936, and in 1946 moved with his family to Riviera Beach, Florida, where his father became a police chief.

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Reynolds did not earn a major award for his acting until he returned to TV, claiming an Emmy in 1991 and Golden Globe the following year for his role in Evening Shade.

He went to Florida State University on a football scholarship but a knee injury ended his ambition to play football professionally.

Reynolds was last seen publicly in April at the Tribeca Film Festival, where he was helped onto the red carpet by Robert De Niro. Reynolds turned his attention to acting, moving to NY, where he struggled for several years until he landed a role in a revival of Mr. Roberts starring Charlton Heston in 1956.

The success of Smokey and the Bandit, though, had a bit of a surprisingly negative effect on Reynolds' career as an actor.

In his 2015 memoir But Enough About Me, he said: "I didn't open myself to new writers or risky parts because I wasn't interested in challenging myself as an actor".

Reynolds turned down the roles of Han Solo in Star Wars, astronaut Garrett Breedlove in Terms of Endearment and John McClane in Die Hard.

"Reynolds" appeal lay in his post-modern macho posture undercut by a wry self-awareness, which he used to good effect in comedies as well as action films. "I don't know if it's the best acting I've done, but it's the best movie I've ever been in".

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