Hollywood star, Burt Reynolds, dies at 82

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Burt Reynolds, the wisecracking 1970s movie heartthrob and Oscar nominee, has died at the age of 82. He reportedly passed away in a Florida hospital from a heart attack with his family by his side.

The moustachioed megastar had undergone heart bypass surgery in 2010. Reynolds is survived by his son, Quinton.

He shot to fame in 1972’s Deliverance, and became a Hollywood legend with his roles in Smokey and the Bandit, The Cannonball Run and Boogie Nights.

Reynolds’ breakout movie role was in 1972’s Deliverance, which told the tale of four friends on a canoeing trip in rural Georgia when they are attacked by a madman.
The box office hit netted three Oscar nominations and made Reynolds a Hollywood sex symbol.

That same year he broke a publishing taboo by posing for a nearly nude centrefold in Cosmopolitan magazine, which he later said was a “really stupid” idea.

His career peaked in 1977 when he played trucker Bo Darville in action comedy Smokey and the Bandit. Only Star Wars grossed more at the box office that year.

Some of his other films include 1974’s The Longest Yard in which he was a football coach recruiting prison inmates to play a game against their guards.

The movie was remade in 2005 with Reynolds this time playing the role of the prison warden.

He also starred in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, a 1982 comedy musical.
One of his last hits, The Cannonball Run which was released in 1981, starred Reynolds as an outlaw race car driver. It spawned several sequels.

But his work went into freefall in the 1980s and his finances were ruined by failed investments in restaurants and a Florida football team.

Reynolds made a 1997 comeback playing a porn film director in Boogie Nights, which won him an Oscar nomination.

He was married twice, firstly to British actress Judy Carne in 1963, but they divorced two years later amid accusations of her over-spending and his infidelity.

Reynolds went on to marry American actress Loni Anderson in 1988, but that also ended bitterly in 1993. They adopted their son, Quinton.

He also had an on-off relationship with co-star Sally Field, whom he later called the “love of his life”.

In 1996 Reynolds filed for bankruptcy with nearly $11m in debts.

In 2014, he was forced to sell many prized memorabilia, including the Golden Globe award he won for Boogie Nights.

But when Vanity Fair journalist Ned Zeman asked him what he would have done differently, Reynolds said: “Spent more money and had a lot more fun.”

As a teenager, Reynolds won a football scholarship to Florida State University until a knee injury ended his sporting prospects.

He then landed his first acting role in a local production of the play Outward Bound. He received the 1956 Florida State Drama Award for that performance.

Reynolds is also known for turning down famous roles, including James Bond and Han Solo.

He also turned down the role of Edward Lewis, Richard Gere’s character in 1990s Pretty Woman.

“My career is not like a regular chart, mine looks like a heart attack,” he told The Associated Press in 2001. “I’ve done over 100 films, and I’m the only actor who has been canned by all three networks. I epitomise longevity.”

He authored two autobiographies – My Life published in 1994 and But Enough About Me which published in 2015.

Up until his death, he had been filming a Quentin Tarantino movie about Charles Manson – Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.

In the film, due to be released in 2019, he portrays George Spahn – the California rancher who allowed the cult to live on his property.

There has been an outpouring of tributes to Reynolds from the world of showbiz:

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