Savannah man blocked fists, lovesick fans for Burt Reynolds

Savannah man blocked fists, lovesick fans for Burt Reynolds”

The American actor starred in many huge movies of the 1970s and beyond, includingSmokey and the Bandit and Deliverance. Paul Thomas Anderson's second feature, set in the porn industry during the late 1970s, hit theaters in October 1997 and received a great deal of critical acclaim - something Reynolds, who played auteurist porn director Jack Horner, hadn't experienced in years.

Despite a rough few decades, a few failed comebacks and some seriously questionable role refusals, Burt Reynolds remained someone that we loved and admired and ultimately, came to respect for his abilities as an actor. Reynolds had been offered the part of Han Solo, actually, and turned it down, just as he'd turned down the role of James Bond, and would later turn down Pretty Woman. In May, it was reported that the actor was in talks to play George Spahn, the blind rancher who owned the property that Charles Manson and his followers were living on when they hatched their infamous murders. He also appeared in the 2005 remake starring Adam Sandler.

The grizzled star was also linked to a string of other attractive women during his life.

He also fronted such commercial favorites as "Smokey and the Bandit", and had a hit TV show in the 1990s with "Evening Shade".

Reynolds with Sally Field in Smokey and The Bandit.

My years with Burt never leave my mind. He was a fine athlete and played football at Florida State University in the 1950s before his professional football hopes were dashed by injuries suffered in a auto crash. He was simultaneously making movies, starting with "Armored Command" and "Angel Baby" in 1961. No one ever accused him of being smart about choosing film roles. I always loved how Burt Reynolds worked with his friends as often as he could and then showcased the fun of movie-making in the end credits of his flicks.

Comeback attempts in movies including Switching Channels, Cop and a Half, The Man From Left Field (which he also directed) and Striptease were failures. He was by himself and no one seemed to notice him. He rebounded in 1997 with a nomination for a best supporting actor Academy Award for "Boogie Nights", and won an Emmy for his role in the 1990-1994 TV series "Evening Shade".

After losing the Oscar he continued to work regularly in indifferent projects like The Crew, Mystery, Alaska and Universal Soldier III.

He eventually regained his health, and in 1988 he married Anderson.

Burt and Loni adopted a son, Quinton, but the marriage ended in a bitter and expensive divorce which led to the Hollywood superstar going bankrupt in 1998.

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