Movie icon Burt Reynolds dead at 82
Michael Tullberg/Getty Images(JUPITER, FL)– Burt Reynolds, the iconic star of movies like Smokey & the Bandit, The Cannonball Run, Deliverance, Boogie Nights and Semi-Tough, has died at the age of 82, ABC News has confirmed.
Reynolds got his start in television and the theater, and also had some minor film roles. However, after he appeared in a 1972 issue of Cosmopolitan as the mag’s first celebrity male nude centerfold, he landed his first major starring role, in the controversial hit movie Deliverance.
Soon, Reynolds’ tough-guy charm and ability to play both comedic and dramatic roles made him the country’s top box office draw in the ’70s. Among his most notable films: 1974’s The Longest Yard, 1977’s Semi-Tough, and, that same year, his most successful movie, Smokey and the Bandit, which spawned a number of sequels.
Despite several box office bombs, Reynolds continued to be a major draw throughout the decade: Other movies included The End — which he directed — as well as Starting Over, Silent Movie and Hooper.
Reynolds’ box office popularity continued through the early ’80s with The Cannonball Run and its sequels, as well as The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Man Who Loved Women and Sharky’s Machine. As his movie career waned, the actor moved to Jupiter, Florida, opened a local theater, and then switched back to TV.
From 1990 to 1994, Reynolds produced and starred in the sitcom Evening Shade, winning a Best Actor Emmy in the process. His movie career during the ’90s was a bust, but in 1997, he made a huge comeback when he starred in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights as a porn movie director. He was even nominated for an Oscar for the role, but lost, allegedly due to his combative relationship with the press and refusal to participate in any campaigning.
In the 2000s, Reynolds continued working in movies and TV, including guest roles on The X-Files, Ed and My Name is Earl, and parts in the film adaptation of The Dukes of Hazzard and the comedy remake of The Longest Yard with Adam Sandler.
In addition to his acting work, Reynolds’ love life made him a tabloid fixture. He was married to actress Judy Carne and then, famously, to blonde bombshell Loni Anderson, with whom he adopted a son, Quinton. He also had long-term relationships with Dinah Shore and Sally Field, and was linked also linked to country star Tammy Wynette, tennis star Chris Evert, and actresses Adrienne Barbeau and Lucie Arnaz.
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