Many people right across the world will be rushing to re-watch iconic films including Smokey and the Bandit, Stroker Ace, City Heat and The Longest Yard following the tragic news that actor Burt Reynolds has passed away.
The iconic actor became a legendary name in the movie industry over the past few decades. Whether it was his smouldering looks plastered on bedroom walls, or his many Hollywood blockbusters, the actor seemingly had it all. From the looks and star power, to the leading lady and a moustache that was the envy of men all around the world.
In his 82 years, the father-of-one achieved many things. He regularly topped the box office, released a music single, appeared on stage and was once one of the biggest sex symbols in the world.
While most people remember him as Bandit from the 1977 film Smokey and the Bandit, Burt first burst onto the scene as a guest on popular ‘60s show The Pony Express. Even then he had star potential and even turned down playing James Bond.
“An American can’t play James Bond,” he said at the time. “It just can’t be done.”
One of his first big blockbusters was the film Deliverance in 1972. He played Lewis Medlock in the film, but it was his decision to pose nude for women’s magazine Cosmopolitan that was perhaps more memorable. Who could forget the nude star appearing as the centrefold model, letting it all hang out on a bearskin rug? Despite the film being nominated for three Academy Awards, it didn’t win any. Many believe it was because of his raunchy shoot.
Another hit was car movie The Cannonball Run. Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars of the early ‘80s joined him, including Farrah Fawcett, Roger Moore, Jackie Chan, Sammy Davis Jr and Jamie Farr, just to name a few.
While the world was intrigued with his movie choices, his personal life also made headlines. He married Loni Anderson and Judy Carne, although both marriages ended in divorce. He also reportedly shared romances with an array of other leading ladies including Dinah Shore and Sally Field. He previously admitted he loved Field long after their romance ended.
“I miss her terribly,” he told Vanity Fair in December 2015. “Even now, it’s hard on me. I don’t know why I was so stupid. Men are like that, you know. You find the perfect person, and then you do everything you can to screw it up.”
Love life aside, it was the Smokey and The Bandit that was his biggest film, although there were plenty of other classics that have inspired generations such as White Lightning, WW and the Dixie Dancekings, Nickelodeon, The Longest Yard and Semi-Tough.
He was also hugely popular on the small screen, wowing audiences alongside Charles Durning and Marilu Henner in Evening Shade.
While his career and personal life did take a nosedive, Burt proved he was a fighter and scored an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for his work in the 1997 film, Boogie Nights. Even as he got older, he continued to work hard, providing cameos for an array of TV and film projects. His film Defining Moments was due for release later this year, while he was also working on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood alongside Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.
According to US Weekly, the actor was at a hospital in Florida on Thursday when he suffered a cardiac arrest. A source told the publication Reynolds was surrounded by family when he died.