Burt Reynolds, legendary Hollywood star of movies such as Smokey and the Bandit, has passed away at the age of 82. The news was confirmed by his managed Erik Kritzer. Reynolds died at Jupiter Medical in his home state of Florida.
The prolific and iconic actor's career began on TV, starring in western shows such as Riverboat and Gunsmoke. It was these shows, as well as his appearances on talks shows, which painted him as a very charismatic individual, that helped make him a movie star. It was his stunt as the first celebrity male-nude centerfold in a 1972 issue of Cosmopolitan that helped earn Burt Reynolds his breakout role in Deliverance. Other actors such as Marlon Brando had turned the role down, but Reynolds took his part in the John Boorman-directed feature and it worked out quite well. Deliverance was one of the most well-received movies of that year and the era of Reynolds' dominance in Hollywood began.
For a five-year period starting in the late 1970s, Burt Reynolds was the number one draw at the box office. Following Deliverance, some of his most popular roles came in 1974's The Longest Yard, which was eventually remade with Adam Sandler in 2005. Reynolds also participated in the remake. It was 1977's Smokey and the Bandit that truly made Reynolds the star we all think of today. Starring alongside Sally Field, the movie was a smash success and spawned several sequels. To this day, Smokey and the Bandit remains the star's most successful endeavor.
After finding success on the big screen as an actor, Burt Reynolds tried his hand at directing. His first directorial effort was the 1976 action movie Gator. He would later go on to helm 1978's dark comedy The End. Heading into the 1980s, Reynolds continued to find success with movies like The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, City Heat and Rough Cut.
Unfortunately, as the 80s rolled on, Reynolds began finding himself in a string of misfires. These included Stroker Ace, Cannonball Run II and Rent-a-Cop. His star power faded a bit and he eventually moved to Florida to open the Jupiter Theater. Reynolds moved back to the small screen for a brief period, producing and starring in the CBS series Evening Shade from 1990 to 1994.
It was his turn in Paul Thomas Anderson's 1997 hit Boogie Nights that truly brought Burt Reynolds back to his glory days. The actor's role as a porn producer earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Reynolds continued to work throughout the rest of the 90s and early 2000s in other projects such as Mystery Alaska, Universal Soldier III and the 2005 Dukes of Hazzard movie, in which he played the role of Boss Hogg. Reynolds also appeared in popular shows such as The X-Files, My Name is Earl and Burn Notice over the years.
Prior to his death, Burt Reynolds was cast in Quentin Tarantino's latest movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It's unclear at the present time if the actor had already filmed his part or if he will have to be recast. Reynolds had also completed work on Defining Moments prior to his passing. The actor is survived by his adopted son Quinton from his second marriage. RIP, Burt Reynolds. This news was previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter.