Erik Kritzer confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that legendary film star Burt Reynolds passed away on Thursday morning (Sept 6) at Jupiter Medical Center in Florida. Kritzer was Reynolds’ longtime manager.
Reynolds acted in iconic roles throughout his 50+ years in show business. He rose to fame in the television series Gunsmoke, followed by a short stint on Dan August.
His breakout film role was as Lewis Medlock in 1972’s Deliverance, which led to leading roles in the box office hits The Longest Yard (as well as the 2005 Adam Sandler remake), the Smokey and the Bandit movies, Semi-Tough, The Cannonball Run, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, to name a few.
Reynolds, born Burton Leon Reynolds Jr., was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Jack Horner in the 1997 film Boogie Nights. As much as he was known for his action flicks, where he usually did his own stunts, he was also known for his romantic comedies opposite actresses including Jill Clayburgh, Candice Bergen, Dolly Parton, Goldie Hawn, and Julie Andrews.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Reynolds was the top-grossing movie star every year from 1978-1982 – the longest stretch since the days of Bing Crosby! At one point he had four movies in theaters at the same time.
Hollywood Life reports that Reynolds’ cause of death was cardiac arrest, having suffered from heart problems for the last several years.
Reynolds is survived by his son Quinton, who he and ex-wife, actress Loni Anderson, adopted when he was three days old in 1988. In his 2015 memoir But Enough About Me, he wrote the following as the final paragraph.
“I always wanted to experience everything and go down swinging. Well, so far, so good. I know I’m old, but I feel young. And there’s one thing they can never take away: Nobody had more fun than I did.”
Reynolds did everything with a smile – and the occasional wink- and will be remembered forever for his talent, and his zest for life.
We will keep Quinton, and the rest of Reynolds’ family and friends in our prayers. We will always love you, Burt…