Published: Fri, September 07, 2018
Life&Culture | By Peggy Hughes

Burt Reynolds Has Passed Away

Burt Reynolds Has Passed Away

Burt Reynolds, one of Hollywood's most popular leading men during the '70s and early '80s in such films as Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit, The Longest Yard and Semi-Tough, has died.

In a statement to the Press Association, a spokesman for Reynolds said the star died in Jupiter, Florida, on Thursday morning after suffering a heart attack.

Two years earlier, the actor underwent heart surgery after his doctor found his arteries were closed during a routine physical.

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". Set in the 1970s porn industry, Anderson's film rejuvenated Reynolds career by casting him as the pragmatic, occasionally ruthless adult film director Jack Horner. "And I've had a good time through it all".

Born in Lansing, Michigan on February 11, 1936, Reynolds moved to South Florida in 1946, when his father became police chief in Riviera Beach. He won an award for the performance and a scholarship to a summer stock theater in Hyde Park, New York.

Reynolds in 1972 starred alongside Jon Voight, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox in Deliverance, a film about four Atlanta businessmen and buddies who took a canoe trip on a remote Georgia river that went terribly wrong. That "was the closest to me, in terms of, I see myself in that character and it was a classic film", Reynolds told USA TODAY.

He began appearing on television in the late 1950s, but it wasn't until 1962 that he secured a consistent role as the half-Native American blacksmith Quint Asper on Gunsmoke.

College football commentator Lee Corso has been known to joke about the fact that he and Reynolds were roommates at Florida State.

Reynolds had recently been announced as playing a part in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and has Defining Moments coming out later this year.

Actors Ralph Macchio and Kevin Smith also paid tribute to the star, remembering their childhoods watching him in "Smokey the Bandit".

Burt Reynolds sits on a 1977 Pontiac Trans-Am at the world premiere of "The Bandit" at the Paramount Theatre during the South by Southwest Film Festival in March 2016 in Austin, Texas. But he had a comeback of sorts with 1997's Boogie Nights, for which he earned a best supporting actor Oscar nomination. I don't know why I was so stupid.

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