'Smokey and the Bandit' star Burt Reynolds dead at 82

'Smokey and the Bandit' star Burt Reynolds dead at 82

Reynolds' manager, Erik Kritzer, confirmed the "Smokey and the Bandit" star's death to The Hollywood Reporter, saying he passed away Thursday morning at Jupiter Medical Center in Florida. In 2010, Reynolds underwent a quintuple heart bypass one year after entering rehab to end a reliance on prescription drug habit acquired after back surgery.

Reynolds came to stardom in Deliverance and Smokey and the Bandit in the 1970s, and was still making movies more than 40 years later. Reynolds eventually made his debut in 1961's Angel Baby, a pulp thriller about religious zealotry in the American south.

Reynolds' personal life sometimes overshadowed his movies, with marriages that ended in divorce to actresses Loni Anderson and Judy Carne and romances with others, including Sally Field and Dinah Shore.

Smokey and the Bandit opened the same year Star Wars hit theaters.

The actor soon started to rebuild his fortune, appearing in classics such as Boogie Nights, Without a Paddle, The Dukes of Hazzard. "I was interested in having a good time", Reynolds said in his 2015 memoir, But Enough About Me.

Born in Lansing, Michigan on February 11, 1936, Reynolds moved to South Florida in 1946, when his father became police chief in Riviera Beach. "Thank you." Director Kevin Smith also shared some kind words about Reynolds.

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While attending Florida State, Reynolds roomed with one Lee Corso - the famed college football broadcaster who remains a staple of "College Gameday". Reynolds had mixed feelings about the film in spite of the acclaim. When it comes to his legacy, the actor said he knows exactly how he wants to be remembered: "He worked hard, he was always on time and knew his lines, and he tried really hard to be a good guy".

He was best known for his action roles, for which he did most of his own stunts.

Although Reynolds was best known for his relaxed, wise-cracking, charismatic on-screen persona, he also had some success as a more serious actor. He moved to NY and landed minor stage and TV roles before making his film debut in 1961.

Reynolds kicked himself for some of the roles he turned down, such as Jack Nicholson's characters in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Terms of Endearment", and Richard Gere's part in "Pretty Woman".

The macho star also appeared in Deliverance, which was nominated for three Academy Awards.

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