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Burt Reynolds

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Enduring, strong-featured, and genial star of US cinema, Burt Reynolds started off in TV westerns in the 1960s and then carved his name into 1970/1980s popular culture as a male sex symbol (posing nearly naked for "Cosmopolitan" magazine) and on-screen as both a rugged action figure and then as a wisecracking, Southern-type "good olé' boy." Burton Leon Reynolds was born in Lansing, Michigan. He is the son of Fern H. (Miller) and Burton Milo Reynolds, who was in the army and later served as chief of police. His family moved to Florida, where he excelled as an athlete and played with Florida State University. He became an All Star Southern Conference halfback (and was earmarked by the Baltimore Colts) before a knee injury and a car accident ended his football career. Midway through college he dropped out and headed to New York with aspirations of becoming an actor. There he worked in restaurants and clubs while pulling the odd TV spot or theatre role. He was spotted in a New York City production of "Mister Roberts," signed to a TV contract, and eventually had recurring roles in such shows as Gunsmoke (1955), Riverboat (1959) and his own series, Hawk (1966). Reynolds continued to appear in undemanding western roles, often playing an Indian halfbreed, in films such as Navajo Joe (1966), 100 Rifles (1969) and Sam Whiskey (1969). However, it was his tough-guy performance as macho Lewis Medlock in the John Boorman backwoods nightmare Deliverance (1972) that really stamped him as a bona-fide star. Reynolds' popularity continued to soar with his appearance as a no-nonsense private investigator in Shamus (1973) and in the Woody Allen comedy Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972). Building further on his image as a Southern boy who outsmarts the local lawmen, Reynolds packed fans into theaters to see him in White Lightning (1973), The Longest Yard (1974), W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings (1975) and Gator (1976). At this time, ex-stuntman and longtime Reynolds buddy Hal Needham came to him with a "road film" script. It turned out to be the incredibly popular Smokey and the Bandit (1977) with Sally Field and Jerry Reed, which took in over $100 million at the box office. That film's success was followed by Smokey and the Bandit II (1980) and Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983). Reynolds also appeared alongside Kris Kristofferson in the hit football film Semi-Tough (1977), with friend Dom DeLuise in the black comedy The End (1978) (which Reynolds directed), in the stunt-laden buddy film Hooper (1978) and then in the self-indulgent, star-packed road race flick The Cannonball Run (1981). The early 1980s started off well with a strong performance in the violent cop film Sharky's Machine (1981), which he also directed, and he starred with Dolly Parton in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) and with fellow macho superstar Clint Eastwood in the coolly received City Heat (1984). However, other projects such as Stroker Ace (1983), Stick (1985) and Paternity (1981) failed to catch fire with fans and Reynolds quickly found himself falling out of popularity with movie audiences. In the late 1980s he appeared in only a handful of films, mostly below average, before his old friend television came to the rescue and he shone again in two very popular TV shows, B.L. Stryker (1989) and Evening Shade (1990), for which he won an Emmy. He was back on screen, but still the roles weren't grabbing the public's attention, until his terrific performance as a drunken politician in the otherwise woeful Striptease (1996) and then another tremendous showing as a manipulative porn director in Boogie Nights (1997), which scored him a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Like the phoenix from the ashes, Reynolds had resurrected his popularity and, in the process, had gathered a new generation of young fans, many of whom had been unfamiliar with his 1970s film roles. He put in entertaining work in Pups (1999), Mystery, Alaska (1999), Driven (2001) and Time of the Wolf (2002). Definitely one of Hollywood's most resilient stars, Reynolds has continually surprised all with his ability to weather both personal and career hurdles and his 40-plus years in front of the cameras is testament to his staying ability, his acting talent and his appeal to film audiences.

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Burt Reynolds Honored at New York Car Show with '100-Trans Am Salute'

Burt Reynolds
Honored at NY Car Show ... 100-Trans Am Salute!!!

Burt Reynolds fans and car enthusiasts alike paid their respects to the late '"Smokey and the Bandit" star ... by rolling up in the classic ride he made famous. Thousands of people attended Long… READ MORE >

Burt Reynolds' Car Collection Could Fetch $1M at Vegas Auction

Burt Reynolds
Car Collection Could Fetch $1M!! ... at Vegas Auction

Die-hard Burt Reynolds fans down for a beer run to Texarkana and back in 28 hours can now do it with one of Burt's personal cars ... but it's gonna cost 'em a pretty penny.… READ MORE >

- 219 days ago
Burt Reynolds' Will Says His Niece, Not His Son Will Manage Estate

Burt Reynolds' Will
Niece to Handle Estate ... Not His Son

Burt Reynolds excluded his only son from his will, but not because he wanted to disinherit him. Burt's will specifically says 30-year-old Quinton Reynolds is intentionally omitted from the… READ MORE >

- 221 days ago
Burt Reynolds' 'Smokey and the Bandit' Sees Colossal Spike on Amazon

Burt Reynolds
'Smokey' Sales Jump 300,000% on Amazon

Burt Reynolds' fans have a huge case of #FlashbackFriday -- not to mention #ThrowbackThursday -- when it comes to the legend's classic flicks, because Amazon's numbers are astonishing. The Oscar… READ MORE >

- 231 days ago
Burt Reynolds Once Begged Brian Bosworth To Run Him Over, Says Bill Romanowski

Burt Reynolds
Begged The Boz To Run Him Over ... Says Bill Romanowski

You knew Burt Reynolds was a badass ... but did you know he once lit up Brian Bosworth for NOT hitting him hard enough?!?! It's true ... Bill Romanowski tells TMZ Sports the late Burt once… READ MORE >

- 231 days ago
Burt Reynolds Look-Alikes to Compete For Best 'Bandit' Costume

Burt Reynolds
Mustaches, Cowboy Hats, Trans Ams Look-Alikes to Honor Actor

Hundreds of Burt Reynolds look-alikes will flood the streets of Long Island this month for a car show honoring the late actor ... and the best impersonator wins a big ass trophy!!! We're told Burt… READ MORE >

- 231 days ago
Florida State to Honor Burt Reynolds with Helmet Decals

Florida State
Honoring Burt Reynolds ... With Helmet Decals!

The Florida State University football team will pay tribute to one of their own -- Burt Reynolds -- by wearing special helmet decals this weekend honoring the late actor.  Reynolds played… READ MORE >

- 231 days ago
Cuba Gooding Jr. Remembers Burt Reynolds and His Magical Mustache

Cuba Gooding Jr.
Burt Reynolds' 'Stache ... Magical!!

Cuba Gooding Jr. doesn't know what Burt Reynolds' mustache would've said if it could talked ... but he knows it had some sweet moves. We got Cuba Thursday night at the NYC Italian joint… READ MORE >

- 231 days ago
Burt Reynolds Lived Out Last Days at Longtime FL Home Thanks to Loving Landlord

Burt Reynolds
Lived Out Last Days on Famed Estate ... Thanks to Loving Landlord

Burt Reynolds was able to live out his final years at his longtime Florida estate thanks to a loving landlord who helped him out of a financial crisis. Here's the backstory -- Burt sold his… READ MORE >

- 232 days ago
Burt Reynolds Dead at 82 After Heart Attack, 911 Call Released

Burt Reynolds
Dead at 82 After Heart Attack 911 Call Reveals Desperate Situation

1:52 PM PT -- In the 911 call -- obtained by TMZ -- a male caller tells emergency operators Reynolds is experiencing trouble breathing and chest pain. The caller also says Reynolds is awake but… READ MORE >

- 232 days ago
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