Burt Reynolds, an Oscar-nominee for “Boogie Nights” and the star of “Smokey and the Bandit” passed away today at the age of 82. The actor, director, and producer went into cardiac arrest in Jupiter, Florida. Reynolds became one of the biggest stars in the world during the 1970s. From 1978 to 1982 he led all movie stars in box office gross. He became the first actor to hold the title for five years since Bing Crosby.
Reynolds had a long career in Hollywood after a football career at Florida State University, where he roomed with iconic broadcaster Lee Corso. After a car accident cost him his spleen and destroyed his knee. He turned to acting shortly after, beginning his career in the 1950s. One of his breakthrough roles was that of Lewis Medlock in “Deliverance” in 1972. He would later star as a football player in “The Longest Yard” in 1974, as well as the remake in 2005.
From 1978 to 1982, he was the biggest star in Hollywood. At one time during 1978, four of his films were in theaters at the same time. “Cannonball Run,” “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” and “Smokey and the Bandit” were just a few of the hits. He also directed and starred in “Gator” in 1976.
Reynolds is well-known for the various roles he passed on over time. Reynolds skipped out on “Star Wars,” “Terms of Endearment,” and “Die Hard” but had little to regret during that time. Even his Oscar-nominated role for “Boogie Nights” made Reynolds upset to the point that he fired his manager at the time. The actor was well known for his search for good times, even if it resulted in subpar projects. However, it also gave him an iconic persona that made Reynolds an icon for more than 4 decades. He will be missed.