Burton Leon " Burt " Reynolds (February 11, 1936 - September 6, 2018) was an American actor, director, producer and former college football player.

He began acting on television, and made his breakout film role in Deliverance (1972). Reynolds went on to star in a number of films, including The Longest Yard (1974), Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Without A Paddle and Boogie Nights . [32] [49] [50]

Early life

Reynolds is the son of Fern H. (née Miller; 1902–1992) and Burton Milo Reynolds (1906–2002). He has English , Scottish , Scots-Irish and Dutch ancestry, and is also said to have Cherokee roots. [2] In his 2014 autobiography But Enough About Me , Reynolds said his mother had Italian ancestry. During his career, Reynolds often claimed to have been born in Waycross, Georgia , but confirmed in 2015 that he was born in Lansing, Michigan . [4] He was born on February 11, 1936, [5] and in his autobiography stated that Lansing is where his family lived when his father was drafted into the United States Army . [7] [8] Reynolds, his mother and sister joined his father at Fort Leonard Wood , Missouri , and lived there for two years. When Reynolds's father was sent to Europe, the family moved to Lake City, Michigan , where his mother had been raised. [9]

In 1946, the family moved to Riviera Beach, Florida . His father became Chief of Police of Riviera Beach, which is adjacent to the north side of West Palm Beach, Florida . During 10th grade at Palm Beach High School , Reynolds was named First Team All State and All Southern as a fullback , and received multiple scholarship offers.

After graduating from Palm Beach High in West Palm Beach, he attended Florida State University on a football scholarship and played halfback . [10] While at Florida State, Reynolds roomed with college football broadcaster and analyst Lee Corso , and also became a brother of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. [3] Reynolds hoped to be named to All-American teams and to have a career in professional football, but he suffered a knee injury in the first game of his sophomore season, and later that year he lost his spleen and injured his other knee as a result of a car accident. [11] These injuries hampered Reynolds' abilities on the field, and after being beaten in coverage for the game-winning touchdown in a 7-0 loss to North Carolina State on October 12, 1957 , he decided to give up football and pursue a career in acting. [53]

Ending his university football career, Reynolds became a police officer, but his father suggested that he finish university and become a parole officer . To keep up with his studies, he began taking classes at Palm Beach Junior College (PBJC) in neighboring Lake Worth . In his first term at PBJC, Reynolds was in an English class taught by Watson B. Duncan III . Duncan pushed Reynolds into trying out for a play he was producing, Outward Bound . He cast Reynolds in the lead role based on having heard Reynolds read Shakespeare in class, leading to Reynolds winning the 1956 Florida State Drama Award for his performance. In his autobiography, Reynolds refers to Duncan as his mentor and the most influential person in his life.



The Florida State Drama Award included a scholarship to the Hyde Park Playhouse, a summer stock theater , in Hyde Park, New York . Reynolds saw the opportunity as an agreeable alternative to more physically-demanding summer jobs, but did not yet see acting as a possible career. While working there, Reynolds met Joanne Woodward , who helped him find an agent, and was cast in Tea and Sympathy at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City . After his Broadway debut Look, We've Come Through , he received favorable reviews for his performance and went on tour with the cast, driving the bus and appearing on stage. After the tour, Reynolds returned to New York and enrolled in acting classes, along with Frank Gifford , Carol Lawrence , Red Buttons and Jan Murray . After a botched improvisation in acting class, Reynolds briefly considered returning to Florida, but he soon got a part in a revival of Mister Roberts , in which Charlton Heston played the starring role. After the play closed, the director, John Forsythe , arranged a film audition with Joshua Logan for Reynolds. The film was Sayonara . Reynolds was told that he could not be in the film because he looked too much like Marlon Brando . Logan advised Reynolds to go to Hollywood , but Reynolds did not feel confident enough to do so. He worked in a variety of different jobs, such as waiting tables, washing dishes, driving a delivery truck and as a bouncer at the Roseland Ballroom . While working as a dockworker , Reynolds writes that he was offered $150 to jump through a glass window on a live television show.

Television and film

Reynolds with the Citrus Queen at Garnet and Gold Football Game, Florida State University, 1963

Reynolds guest-starred in the Pony Express episode, "The Good Samaritan", which aired in 1960 on the centennial of the famed mail route . [3] He used television fame to secure leading roles for low-budget films. Saul David considered Reynolds to star in Our Man Flint , but Lew Wasserman rejected him. [14] Albert R. Broccoli asked Reynolds to play James Bond , but he turned the role down, saying "An American can't play James Bond. It just can't be done." [16] The role went to George Lazenby . Reynolds then filmed Shark! with director Sam Fuller and Fuller disowned the rough cuts. Reynolds made his breakout performance in Deliverance and gained notoriety when he appeared in the April 1972 issue of Cosmopolitan . [17] Reynolds claims the centerfold in Cosmopolitan hurt the chances for the film and cast to receive Academy Awards. [18] In 1977, Reynolds and Nick Nolte declined the role of Han Solo in the Star Wars franchise, which went to Harrison Ford . [19] After a string of box failures, he returned to television, starring in the sitcom Evening Shade (1990–1994). Reynolds was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Boogie Nights (1997). He refused to appear in Paul Thomas Anderson 's third film, Magnolia . [55]

Other roles

In 1973, Reynolds released the album Ask Me What I Am and sang along with Dolly Parton in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas . [21] On March 15, 1978, Reynolds earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and built a dinner theatre in Jupiter, Florida followed by other franchise locations of the Reynolds Celebrity Dinner Theater including the Beacham Theater in Orlando . His celebrity was such that he drew not only big-name stars to appear in productions, but also to sell-out audiences. He sold the venue in the early 1990s, but a museum highlighting his career still operates nearby. [4] From 1977 to 1981, Reynolds topped the Quigley Publications poll of movie exhibitors, who voted him the top box-office attraction in the country. Only Bing Crosby won the poll more consecutive years. Despite much success, Reynolds' finances expired, and he filed for bankruptcy, due in part to an extravagant lifestyle, a divorce from Loni Anderson and failed investments in some Florida restaurant chains in 1996. [23] [24] The filing was under Chapter 11 , from which Reynolds emerged two years later. [24] Reynolds co-authored the children's book Barkley Unleashed A Pirate , a "whimsical tale [that] illustrates the importance of perseverance, the wonders of friendship and the power of imagination". In 2002, he voiced Avery Carrington in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City .

Personal life


Reynolds' close friends have included Johnny Carson , Dom DeLuise , Jerry Reed , Charles Nelson Reilly , Tammy Wynette , Lucie Arnaz , Adrienne Barbeau , Tawny Little , Dinah Shore and Chris Evert . Reynolds was married to Judy Carne from 1963 to 1965, and to Loni Anderson from 1988 to 1993. He and Anderson adopted a son, Quinton. He had a relationship with Sally Field , [20] who by his own admission was, and perhaps is, the love of his life. [56]

Atlanta nightclub

In the late 1970s, Reynolds opened Burt's Place, a nightclub restaurant in the Omni International Hotel in the Hotel District of Downtown Atlanta . [28]

Sports team owner

In 1982, Reynolds became a co-owner of the Tampa Bay Bandits , a professional American football team in the USFL , whose nickname was inspired by the Smokey and the Bandit trilogy and Skoal Bandit , a primary sponsor for the team as a result of also sponsoring Reynolds' race team. Reynolds also co-owned a NASCAR Winston Cup team, Mach 1 Racing , with Hal Needham , which ran the #33 Skoal Bandit car with driver Harry Gant .


While filming City Heat , Reynolds was struck in the face with a metal chair and had temporomandibular joint dysfunction . He lost thirty pounds from not eating. The painkillers he was prescribed led to addiction, which took several years to break. Reynolds underwent back surgery in 2009 and a quintuple heart bypass in February 2010. [49]

Burt Reynolds died on September 6, 2018 at the age of 82.  The cause of his death was cardiopulmonary arrest[64]​.

Financial problems

On August 16, 2011, Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation filed foreclosure papers, claiming Reynolds owed $ 1.2 million on his home in Hobe Sound, Florida . [29] [49] Reynolds owned the Burt Reynolds Ranch, where scenes for Smokey and the Bandit were filmed and which once had a petting zoo, until its sale during bankruptcy. [2] In April 2014, the 153-acre rural property was rezoned for residential use and the Palm Beach County school system could sell it to residential developer K. Hovnanian Homes . [2]



1961 Angel Baby Hoke Adams
1961 Armored Command Ski
1965 Operation C.I.A. Mark Andrews
1966 Navajo Joe Joe
1969 100 Rifles Yaqui Joe Herrera
1969 Sam Whiskey Sam Whiskey
1969 Impasse Pat Morrison
1969 Shark! Caine
1970 Skullduggery Douglas Temple
1972 Fuzz Detective Steve Carella
1972 Deliverance Lewis Medlock
1972 Everything You Always Wanted to KnowAbout Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) Sperm Switchboard Chief
1973 Shamus Shamus McCoy
1973 The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing Jay Grobart
1973 White Lightning Gator McKlusky
1974 The Longest Yard Paul "Wrecking" Crewe
1975 At Long Last Love Michael Oliver Pritchard III
1975 W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings W.W. Bright
1975 Lucky Lady Walker Ellis
1975 Hustle Lieutenant Phil GainesAlso executive producer
1976 Silent Movie HimselfCameo
1976 Gator Gator McKluskyAlso director
1976 Nickelodeon Buck Greenway
1977 Smokey and the Bandit Bo "Bandit" Darville
1977 Semi-Tough Billy Clyde Puckett
1978 The End Wendell Sonny LawsonAlso director
1978 Hooper Sonny HooperAlso producer
1979 Starting Over Phil Potter
1980 Rough Cut Jack Rhodes
1980 Smokey and the Bandit II Bo "Bandit" Darville
1981 The Cannonball Run J.J. McClure
1981 Paternity Buddy Evans
1981 Sharky's Machine Sgt. Thomas SharkyAlso director
1982 The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd
1982 Best Friends Richard Babson
1982 Six Pack Man walking in front of Brewster and LilaUncredited
1983 Stroker Ace Stroker Ace
1983 The Man Who Loved Women David Fowler
1983 Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 The Real BanditCameo
1984 Cannonball Run II J.J. McClure
1984 City Heat Mike Murphy
1985 Stick Ernest "Stick" StickleyAlso director
1986 Uphill All the Way GamblerUncredited
1986 Heat Nick Escalante
1987 Malone Richard Malone
1988 Rent-a-Cop Tony Church
1988 Switching Channels John L. Sullivan IV
1989 Physical Evidence Joe Paris
1989 Breaking In Ernie Mullins
1989 All Dogs Go to Heaven Charlie B. Barkin (voice)
1992 The Player HimselfCameo
1993 Cop and a Half Nick McKenna
1995 The Maddening Roy Scudder
1996 Citizen Ruth Blaine Gibbons
1996 Striptease Congressman David Dilbeck
1996 Mad Dog Time "Wacky" Jacky Jackson
1997 Meet Wally Sparks Lenny Spencer
1997 Bean General Newton
1997 Boogie Nights Jack Horner
1997 Big City Blues ConnorAlso co-producer
1999 Pups Daniel Bender
1999 Stringer Wolko
1999 Mystery, Alaska Judge Walter Burns
1999 The Hunter's Moon Clayton SamuelsDirect-to-DVD
2000 The Crew Joey "Bats" Pistella
2000 The Last Producer Sonny WexlerAlso director
2001 Driven Carl Henry
2001 Tempted Charlie LeBlanc
2001 Waterproof Eli ZealPremiered at the Urbanworld Film Festival
2001 Hotel Flamenco Manager
2001 The Hollywood Sign Kage Mulligan
2002 Time of the Wolf Archie McGregor
2003 The Librarians IrishUncredited
2004 Without a Paddle Del Knox
2005 The Longest Yard Coach Nate Scarborough
2005 The Dukes of Hazzard Boss Hogg
2005 The Legend of Frosty the Snowman Narrator (voice)Direct-to-DVD
2006 Cloud 9 Billy Cole
2006 End Game General Montgomery
2006 Forget About It Sam LeFleur
2006 Grilled Goldbluth
2006 Broken Bridges Jake Delton
2007 Randy and the Mob Elmore CulpepperUncredited cameo
2007 In the Name of the King King Konreid
2008 Deal Tommy Vinson
2008 Delgo Delgo's Father (voice)
2008 A Bunch of Amateurs Jefferson Steele
2011 Not Another Not Another Movie C.J. Waters
2014 A Magic Christmas [2] Buster (voice)Direct-to-DVD
2015 Pocket Listing Ron Glass
2015 Hamlet & Hutch [2] Papa HutchDirect-to-DVD
2016 Hollow Creek [2] Seagrass LambertDirect-to-DVD
2016 Elbow Grease [2] Grandpa Barnes
2016 Shangri La Suite [2] Narrator (voice)
2017 Apple of My Eye CharlieDirect-to-DVD
2017 Dog Years Vic Edwards
2017 Shadow Fighter Paddy Grier
2017 Miami Love Affair Robert
2017 Henri George Duncan post-production


1958 Flight Captain Sam Allen / Captain Jack Hilyard2 episodes
1959 M Squad Peter MarashiEpisode: "The Teacher"
1959 The Lawless Years Tony SappioEpisode: "The Payoff"
1959 Pony Express AdamEpisode: "The Good Samaritan"
1959–60 Riverboat Ben Frazer20 episodes
1959–60 Playhouse 90 Ace / The Actor2 episodes
1960 Johnny Ringo Tad StuartEpisode: "The Stranger"
1960 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Bill DavisEpisode: "Escape to Sonoita"
1960 Lock-Up Latchard DuncanEpisode: "The Case of Alexis George"
1960–61 The Blue Angels Chuck / Corman2 episodes
1960–61 The Aquanauts Leo / Jimmy2 episodes
1961 Ripcord The AssassinEpisode: "Crime Jump"
1961 Michael Shayne Jerry TurnerEpisode: "The Boat Caper"
1961 Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre Branch TaylorEpisode: "Man from Everywhere"
1961 The Brothers Brannagan AbelardEpisode: "Bordertown"
1961 Naked City Young ManEpisode: "Requiem for a Sunday Afternoon"
1961–62 The Everglades Trask / Lew Johnson2 episodes
1962 Route 66 TommyEpisode: "Love Is a Skinny Kid"
1962 Perry Mason Chuck BlairEpisode: "The Case of the Counterfeit Crank"
1962–65 Gunsmoke Quint Asper50 episodes
1963 The Twilight Zone Rocky RhodesEpisode: " The Bard "
1965 Branded Red HandEpisode: "Now Join the Human Race"
1965 Flipper Al Bardeman2 episodes
1965; 1968 The F.B.I. John Duquesne / Michael Murtaugh2 episodes
1966 Hawk Detective Lt. John Hawk17 episodes
1967 Gentle Ben PilotEpisode: "Voice from the Wilderness"
1968 Premiere Pete LassiterEpisode: "Lassiter"
1968 Fade In Rob Television film
1970 Love, American Style Stanley DunbarEpisode: "Love and the Banned Book"
1970–71 Dan August Dan August26 episodes
1986 The Golden Girls HimselfEpisode: "Ladies of the Evening"
1987–91 Out of This World Troy Garland (voice)95 episodes
1989–90 B.L. Stryker B.L. Stryker12 episodes; also co-executive producer and director
1990–94 Evening Shade Wood Newton98 episodes; also co-executive producer and director
1993 Beverly Hills, 90210 HimselfEpisode: "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window"
1993 The Larry Sanders Show HimselfEpisode: "The Grand Opening"
1993 The Man from Left Field Jack RobinsonTelevision film; also director
1995 Amazing Grace Josiah CareyEpisode: "Hallelujah"
1995 Hope and Gloria HimselfEpisode: "Sisyphus, Prometheus and Me"
1995 Cybill HimselfEpisode: "The Cheese Stands Alone"
1996 The Cherokee Kid Otter Bob the Mountain ManTelevision film
1997 King of the Hill M.F. Thatherton (voice)Episode: "The Company Man"
1997 Duckman Judge Keaton (voice)Episode: "Das Sub"
1998 Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms CIA Deputy Director MentorTelevision film
1998 Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business CIA Deputy Director MentorTelevision film
1998 Hard Time Detective Logan McQueenTelevision film; also director
2001 Emeril HimselfEpisode: "The Sidekick"
2002 The X-Files Mr. BurtEpisode: " Improbable "
2002 Miss Lettie and Me Samuel MadisonTelevision film
2003–04 Ed Russ Burton2 episodes
2005 The King of Queens Coach WalcottEpisode: "Hi, School"
2005 Robot Chicken J.J. McClure / Himself (voices)Episode: "Gold Dust Gasoline"
2005 Duck Dodgers Royal Serpenti (voice)Episode: "Master & Disaster/All in the Crime Family"
2006 Freddie Carl Crane PoolEpisode: "Mother of All Grandfathers"
2006–07; 2009 My Name Is Earl Chubby3 episodes
2010 Burn Notice Paul AndersonEpisode: "Past & Future Tense"
2011 American Dad! Senator Buckingham (voice)Episode: "School Lies"
2011 Reel Love Wade WhitmanTelevision film
2012 Archer Himself (voice)Episode: " The Man from Jupiter "

Video games

YearTitleVoice role
2002 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Avery Carrington
2011 Saints Row: The Third Himself (The Mayor)


YearTitleChart positionsAlbumSongwriter
US Country US CAN Country
1980"Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial"518833 Smokey and the Bandit II Soundtrack Richard Levinson


Awards and nominations for acting
YearAssociationCategoryNominated workResult Ref.
1971 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Dan August Nominated [32]
1975 Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy The Longest Yard Nominated [32]
1980 Starting Over Nominated [32]
American Movie Awards Favorite Film Star – Male N/AWon
1991 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Evening Shade Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Male Performer in a New TV Series Won
Viewers For Quality Television Best Actor in a Quality Comedy Series Won
Golden Boot Awards Golden Boot Won
1992Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Won [32]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Won [2]
1993Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated [32]
1997 Boston Society of Film Critics Best Supporting Actor Boogie Nights 2nd place
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Won
New York Film Critics Circle Best Supporting Actor Won
Online Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actor Won
San Diego Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actor Won
1998 Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Won [32]
BAFTA Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Won
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Best Cast Won
National Society of Film Critics Best Supporting Actor Won
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Won
Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated

Other honors

Further reading

  • Reynolds, Burt. (1994) My Life . New York: Hyperion. ISBN 0-7868-6130-4
  • Anderson, Loni. (1997) My Life in High Heels . Avon Books. ISBN 978-0-380-72854-1
  • Reynolds, Burt. (2015) But Enough About Me: A Memoir . G.P. Putnam's Sons. ISBN 0-3991-7354-4