Burt Reynolds, Hollywood Film Icon, Dead at 82
Hollywood legend Burt Reynolds, known for hit films Smokey and the Bandit and Deliverance, died Thursday, his manager said. He was 82.
Reynolds died at Jupiter Medical Center in Florida, his manager Erik Kritzer confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.
The actor had been dealing with multiple health issues in recent years, including spending time in intensive care in 2013 for flu symptoms, People magazine reported.
Though Reynolds was one of the biggest movie stars of the 1970s and 80s, he didn't grow up aspiring to be on the big screen. Born in Lansing, Mich., in 1936, his family moved to Florida in 1946, where he later attended Florida State University on a football scholarship.
An injury ruined Reynolds' professional football aspirations and a drama class at Palm Beach Junior College set him on the path to acting.
After stints on television shows like Gunsmoke and Flipper, the actor had his first movie hit in 1972's Deliverance before perhaps his most iconic role as Bandit in the Smokey and the Bandit film series. It was in that series where he met Sally Field, with whom he had a relationship for five years.
In 2015, Reynolds told Vanity Fair that Field was the "love of my life."
"I miss her terribly," he said. "Even now, it's hard on me. I don't know why I was so stupid. Men are like that, you know. You find the perfect person, and then you do everything you can to screw it up."
Reynolds' film career slowed down in the late 1980s, but a return to TV in Evening Shade won the actor a Primetime Emmy award in 1991 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
After financial troubles during the 1990s, Reynolds' film career was revitalized with role in critical hits Boogie Nights and Mystery, Alaska.
At the time of his death, Quentin Tarantino was finishing up Reynolds' final movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. One of his last movies, The Last Movie Star, co-starring Ariel Winter and Chevy Chase, closely echoed his own life -- the story of a Hollywood icon who moved from college football to working as a stuntman before becoming a leading movie star.
Reynolds is survived by his son, Quinton Reynolds, whom he shared with ex-wife Lonnie Anderson.
By Wade Sheridan and Danielle Haynes, UPI.com
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