Iconic American actor Burt Reynolds dies at age 82

Burt Reynolds starring in 'Smokey and the Bandit' in 1977

Burt Reynolds, whose appeal and charm made him one of Hollywood's most popular actors when he starred in such films as "Deliverance", "The Longest Yard" and "Smokey and the Bandit" in the 70s and 80s, has died at the age 82, a spokesman for his agent in Los Angeles said Thursday.

Reynolds died at Jupiter Medical Center in Florida, The Hollywood Reporter He said, quoting Reynolds' manager, Erik Kritzer.

At the height of his career, Reynolds was one of the most profitable actors in the film industry, going through a series of box office successes to a professional decline in the mid-1980s.

He recovered in 1997 with a nomination for best supporting actor in the Academy for "Boogie Nights," and won an Emmy for his role in the 1990-1994 television series "Evening Shade."



With his characteristic mustache, robust appearance and macho aura, Reynolds was one of the main male sex symbols of the 1970s. He appeared nude, reclining on a bear-skin carpet with his arm strategically positioned for the good of the modesty, in a centimeter in the Cosmopolitan women's magazine in 1972.

Reynolds' personal life sometimes eclipsed his films, including marriages that ended in divorce with actresses Loni Anderson and Judy Carne and romantic novels with Sally Field and Dinah Shore, among others.

His financial problems and his struggle with prescription pain medications also generated attention.

Reynolds cited the 1972 film "Deliverance" nominated for an Oscar for director John Boorman as his best film and said he regretted that the uproar of his cosmopolitan appearance detracted from the film that made him a star.

He played the tough guy, Lewis Medlock, along with Jon Voight, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox, in the chilling story of a canoe trip that went awry in rural Georgia.

He starred in dozens of films, which also include "White Lightning" (1973), "W.W. and The Dixie Dancekings" (1975), "Hustle" (1975), "Nickelodeon" (1976) and "Semi-Tough" (1977).

He was the most profitable star at the box office in an annual survey of film exhibitors from 1978 to 1982.

Many of the Reynolds films are set in the south. He often portrayed an adorable rascal who surpasses local authorities, as in director Hal Needham's action comedy 1977 "Smokey and the Bandit", co-starring his girlfriend Field and Jackie Gleason, and its two sequels.

Another of his best roles was that of a former professional field marshal who disembarks in prison and assembles a team of convicts to play the squad of brutal prison guards in the lively "The Longest Yard" of 1974, directed by Robert Aldrich. He appeared in a supporting role in the 2005 remake with Adam Sandler.

Reynolds also directed several films in which he acted, among them "Gator" (1976), "The End" (1978), "Sharky & # 39; s Machine" (1981) and "Stick" (1985).

While some of his performances were critically praised, others were ridiculed, particularly in the bloated action comedy "Cannonball Run II," a sequel to his financial success "The Cannonball Run" (1981).

He also starred in the notorious musical failure of 1975 "At Long Last Love", a film so atrocious that the director Peter Bogdanovich publicly apologized for having created it.

Reynolds rejected important roles as Han Solo in "Star Wars", which went to Harrison Ford; the main role in a James Bond movie; and the astronaut in "Terms of affection" that Jack Nicholson turned into an Oscar-winning performance.

Burt Reynolds sits in a 1977 Pontiac Trans-Am at the world premiere of "The Bandit" at the Paramount Theater in 2016


& # 39; The most fun & # 39;

Reynolds said in 2012 that he regretted some of his film choices. "I took the part that was more fun:" Oh, this will be fun. "I did not take the part that would be the most challenging," said television interviewer Piers Morgan in 2012.

When asked about his own epitaph, Reynolds said: "He lived an extraordinary life and did everything possible, as best he could, not to hurt anyone."

Burton Leon Reynolds Jr. was born on February 11, 1936 and grew up in Florida. He was a good athlete and played football at Florida State University in the 1950s, before his professional football hopes were frustrated by injuries sustained in a car accident.

He started acting after enrolling in a high school. He moved to New York and took supporting roles on stage and television before making his film debut in 1961. Reynolds was often chosen for the western, including the popular television series "Gunsmoke" in the 1960s.

In 1972, the same year that "Deliverance" was released, he showed versatility by participating also in Woody Allen's comedy "Everything he always wanted to know about sex * but he was afraid to ask".

Reynolds starred in romantic comedies as well, including "Starting Over" (1979) with Jill Clayburgh and Candice Bergen, and in the musical comedy "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" (1982) with Dolly Parton.

His film career stagnated in the mid-1980s with several failures and never again was a movie star.

Reynolds turned to television and had a successful career in the sitcom "Evening Shade," co-starring Marilu Henner and Charles Durning. He continued appearing in films in minor but sometimes notable roles.

He earned his only Oscar nomination in his career as a porn director, a role he despised, in "Boogie Nights" (1997), starring Mark Wahlberg, director Paul Thomas Anderson.

Reynolds experienced some health problems later in his life. He underwent quintuple cardiac bypass surgery in 2010 and was hospitalized in intensive care in 2013 with influenza.