Burt Reynolds, beloved movie star and icon of ’70s and ’80s cinema, has passed away at the age of 82. According to reports, his cause of death was a heart attack.
Burton Leon Reynolds was born on February 11, 1936, in Lansing, Michigan, to parents Fern and Burton Milo Reynolds. His family eventually moved from Michigan to Florida, where Burt attended Palm Beach High School and played halfback on the football team.
He later attended Florida State University on a football scholarship, but he suffered a major injury and eventually transferred schools. He was attending community college and aspiring to be a police officer when an English teacher convinced him to audition for a play.
This ignited Burt’s love for acting. He won an award for the performance and a scholarship to a summer stock theater in Hyde Park, New York. Burt made his Broadway debut in Look, We’ve Come Through, toured with the production, and began taking acting classes once he returned to New York.
Still unsure of his acting abilities, Burt took on odd jobs as a bouncer and dockworker before landing some promising roles. He acted in TV and lesser-known films before finding his break in the 1972 thriller Deliverance.
Burt went on to act in such cult classics as The Longest Yard (1974) and Smokey and the Bandit (1977), the ’90s sitcom Evening Shade, and the film Boogie Nights (1997), for which he won numerous awards, including a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor.
He was married to Judy Carne from 1963 to 1965. He later married Loni Anderson in 1988, and the pair adopted a son, Quinton Anderson Reynolds. The pair divorced in 1993.
Burt is survived by his son.
Footage provided by WPIX New York.
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