Burt Reynolds, 'Boogie Nights,' 'Deliverance' and 'Smokey and the Bandit' dead at 82 from heart attack

Burt Reynolds has died and Hollywood mourns

Burt Reynolds, a beloved movie star with a special swagger, who was the number 1 box office draw in the 1970s was pronounced dead on Sept. 6 from cardiopulmonary arrest at the age of 82 in Jupiter Medical Center in Florida.

Ever-known to be tall, dark, handsome, and full of good-natured mischief, Reynolds grew to fame in performances in hit TV series Gunsmoke, Hawk and Dan August, but became a household name when he stared in Deliverance in 1972.  He dominated the box office with hits The Longest Yard, Smokey and the Bandit and its sequel, Semi-Tough, Cannonball Run and the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

He never shied away from attention.  He was the first male star to appear as a nude centerfold in Cosmopolitan in 1972.

When Hollywood wasn't being as kind to him, he returned to television to star in the series Evening Shade that aired on CBS from 1990 to 1994.  He made a triumphant return to the big screen in Boogie Nights, for which he received an Oscar nod for Boogie Nights directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.


Burt Reynolds was born in Lansing, Michigan and when he was young, his family moved to Riviera Beach, Florida. He attended Florida State University on a football scholarship, but after suffering a few injuries, he left football and after an English teacher saw his gift, he encouraged Burt to go into acting.  With his looks and talent, he decided to go for it, but the road wasn't without bumps.

Prior to making it in show business, Burt Reynolds had many odd jobs including dockworker, bouncer and dishwasher.  He made his film debut in Angel Baby in 1961.

In his personal life, Reynolds was married to Judy Carne for two years until 1965, and to Loni Anderson from 1988 to 1993, with whom they have a son Quinton.  He also had long-term relationships with Dinah Shore and Sally Field.

His relationship with Field was rumored to be a tumultuous one, but she issued a statement after the announcement was made.

In a statement made to HollywoodLife, Sally Field has nice things to say about her former ex.

“There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away. They stay alive, even forty 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."

Many co-stars, friends and fans are also celebrating the life and work of Burt Reynolds.

Burt Reynolds had been having health issues related to his heart for years. No funeral arrangements have been announced yet.

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Michelle Tompkins

Michelle Tompkins is an award-winning media, PR and crisis communications professional with more than ten years experience with coverage in virtually every traditional and new media outlet. She is currently a communications and media strategist and writer, as well as the author of College Prowler: Guidebook for Columbia University. She served as the Media Relations Manager for the Girl Scouts of the USA where she managed all media and talking points, created social media strategy, trained executives and donors and served as the organization’s primary spokesperson, participating in daily interviews with local, regional, and national media outlets. She managed the media for the Let Me Know internet safety and Cyberbullying prevention campaign with Microsoft, as well as Girl Scouts’ centennial Year of the Girl To Get Her There celebration in 2012, which yielded more than 800 million earned media impressions. In addition to her extensive media experience, Michelle worked as a talent agent in Los Angeles, California, as well contracting as a digital content developer and her writing has appeared in newspapers and online. She is passionate about television, theater, classic movies, all things food and in-home entertaining. While she has lived and worked in NYC for more than a decade, she is from suburban Sacramento and gets back there often to watch the San Francisco Giants on TV with her family.

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