Burt Reynolds Has Died at 82

Friends and colleagues in Hollywood are mourning the passing of actor Burt Reynolds, who has died aged 82.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, his manager Erik Kritzer said that the elderly performer passed away Thursday morning at Jupiter Medical in Florida.

The celebrity news magazine reports Reynolds had heart problems for years and underwent major heart surgery in 2010.

Reynolds came to stardom in Deliverance and Smokey and the Bandit in the 1970s, and was still making movies more than 40 years later. Reynolds shared the screen with his fair share of legendary actresses, including Jill Clayburgh, Candice Bergen, Dolly Parton, Goldie Hawn, and Julie Andrews. He rebounded in 1997 with a nomination for a best supporting actor Oscar for Boogie Nights and won an Emmy Award for his role in the 1990-1994 TV series Evening Shade. "And I've had a good time through it all".

The actor was born on February 11, 1936 in Lansing, Mich., and at age 10 moved with his family to Florida, where he played high school football.

But he also was a frequent nominee for the Razzie, the tongue-in-cheek award for Hollywood's worst performance, and his personal life provided ongoing drama, particularly after an acrimonious divorce from Anderson in 1995. Burt Reynolds, underrated as a dramatic actor (Deliverance), underrated as a director (Sharkey's Machine), but also a rare movie star that seemed to be just having an absolute ball onscreen.

Even in his older years, Reynolds continued his work in both film and television.

Reynolds played college football at Florida State University and, after withdrawing from the sports program due to injuries, took a theater class. His scholarship to the Hyde Park Playhouse in NY provided Reynolds valuable mentorship and the platform for what was to become a successful film career.

Despite a career of defining roles, Reynolds also turned down a number of what would become some of Hollywood's biggest parts.

"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.

Reynolds starred in the film alongside future girlfriend Sally Field, playing Bo "Bandit" Darville, a charming outlaw tasked with transporting a tractor trailer filled with beer over state lines. I don't know what I was thinking.

  • Jacqueline Ellis