Burt Reynolds

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Burt Reynolds (born Burton Leon Reynolds Jr. on February 11, 1936) is an Oscar-nominated American actor. Some of his best-remembered roles include Lewis Medlock in Deliverance, Paul Crewe in the original version of The Longest Yard, and "Bandit" in the 1977 hit film Smokey and the Bandit.


Early life

Although widely said to have been born in Waycross, Georgia, Reynolds was actually born in Lansing, Michigan[1] [2] to Burton Leon Reynolds, a police chief of half-Cherokee Indian and half-Irish descent, and Fern, who was of English descent. After graduating from Palm Beach High School in West Palm Beach, Florida, Reynolds attended Florida State University on a college football scholarship, becoming an all-star Southern Conference halfback. His college roommate was future ESPN football analyst and football coach, Lee Corso. While at Florida State, Reynolds joined the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, the football team's fraternity of choice. After a knee injury in 1955 and then a debilitating car accident, Reynolds came home to Riviera Beach to recuperate. In order to keep up with his studies he began taking classes at Palm Beach Junior College (now known as Palm Beach Community College) in neighboring Lake Park. While there, he met an English Professor named Watson B. Duncan III, who interested him in the concept of a career in acting. Reynolds calls Duncan his mentor and the most-influential person in his life. When he returned to Florida State, he switched from athletics to college drama and won the 1956 Florida State Drama Award. He was drafted by the Baltimore Colts National Football League team, but he never played professional football.


Reynolds won a scholarship to the Hyde Park Playhouse and moved to upstate New York. He did gigs as a stuntman for television programs, until he was "discovered" in a revival of Mister Roberts in New York City and signed to a television acting contract. He made his Broadway debut in Look, We've Come Through. Reynolds first starred on television, in the 1950s series, Riverboat, and went on to appear in a number of other shows, including a role as blacksmith Quint Asper on Gunsmoke from 1962 to 1965.

His film debut was in 1961, in the movie Angel Baby. At the urging of friend Clint Eastwood, Reynolds used his TV fame to secure leading roles in overseas low budget films, commonly called "Spaghetti Westerns". (Eastwood advised Reynolds from experience, as he had done the same). Reynolds first Spaghetti Western came, Navajo Joe, came out in 1966. These low budget starring roles established Reynolds as a bankable leading man in movies, and earned him starring roles in American big-budget motion pictures. His breakout performance was in Deliverance in 1972. It made him a star.

That same year, Reynolds gained notoriety when he posed in the April (Vol. 172, No. 4) issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine. It is said to be the first American magazine centerfold of a (near) nude male.

In the 1980s, after Smokey and the Bandit, he became typecast in similar, less well-done and less successful movies. Comedian and actor Robert Wuhl, in a standup act in the late 80s, said that "Burt Reynolds makes so many bad movies, when someone else makes a bad movie Burt gets a royalty!"

During the first half of the 1990s, he was the star of the CBS television series Evening Shade, for which he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (1991). The bad press from his divorce from actress Loni Anderson caused Reynolds' already slowing career to nosedive. He had to declare bankruptcy in late 1996. Reynolds started a comeback with the movie Striptease in 1996, and the critically acclaimed Boogie Nights, in 1997, put his career back on track. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Boogie Nights and won a Golden Globe Award for the movie. He was considered a front-runner for the Supporting Oscar, but ultimately lost to Robin Williams, who won it in his role in Good Will Hunting.

In early 2000, he created and toured Burt Reynolds' One Man Show. In 2005, he co-starred in two remakes: the first released was of The Longest Yard, this time with Adam Sandler playing the role of Paul Crewe, the role Reynolds had played in the 1974 original. This time around, Reynolds took on the role of Nate Scarborough. The second was of the hit 1980's TV series The Dukes of Hazzard, as Boss Hogg.

Reynolds has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He starred in the audio book version of The Worst Case Scenario Handbook. In May 2006, Reynolds began appearing in Miller Lite beer commercials.

Personal life

Reynolds is well-known for his romances with Dinah Shore, Sally Field, Brenda Vaccaro, Susan Clark, and Adrienne Barbeau among others. Reynolds asked Field to marry him many times but she declined, and they eventually broke up; Reynolds still speaks fondly of Field in the years since then. Reynolds was married to actress/comedienne Judy Carne from 1963 to 1965, and actress Loni Anderson from 1988 to 1993. The divorce from Anderson became a highly publicized, bitter feud. He was also involved with Swedish-American actress Inger Stevens shortly before her suicide, and to date has refused to comment publicly about the relationship. He once stated in an interview that both he and adopted son Quintin are 1/4 Cherokee. He also dated Tammy Wynette, the country music singer, during the 1970s.

His autobiography, titled My Life, was published in 1994.


  1. Angel Baby (1961)
  2. Armored Command (1961)
  3. Operation C.I.A. (1965)
  4. Navajo Joe (1966)
  5. Blade Rider, Revenge of the Indian Nations (1966)
  6. 100 Rifles (1969)
  7. Sam Whiskey (1969)
  8. Impasse (1969)
  9. Shark! (1969)
  10. Skullduggery (1970)
  11. Deliverance (1972)
  12. Fuzz (1972)
  13. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972) (Cameo)
  14. Shamus (1973)
  15. White Lightning (1973)
  16. The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973)
  17. The Longest Yard (1974)
  18. At Long Last Love (1975)
  19. W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings (1975)
  20. Lucky Lady (1975)
  21. Hustle (1975)
  22. Silent Movie (1976) (Cameo)
  23. Gator (1976) (also director)
  24. Nickelodeon (1976)
  25. Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
  26. Semi-Tough (1977)
  27. The End (1978) (also director)
  28. Hooper (1978) (also producer)
  29. Starting Over (1979)
  30. Rough Cut (1980)
  31. Smokey and the Bandit II (1980)
  32. The Cannonball Run (1981)
  33. Paternity (1981)
  34. Sharky's Machine (1981) (also director)
  35. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982)
  36. Best Friends (1982)
  37. Stroker Ace (1983)
  38. Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983)
  39. The Man Who Loved Women (1983)
  40. Cannonball Run II (1984)
  41. City Heat (1984)
  42. Southern Voices, American Dreams (1985) (documentary)
  43. Stick (1985) (also director)
  44. Uphill All the Way (1986) (cameo)
  45. Sherman's March (1986) (documentary)
  46. Heat (1986)
  47. Malone (1987)
  48. Rent-A-Cop (1988)
  49. Switching Channels (1988)
  50. Physical Evidence (1989)
  51. Breaking In (1989)
  52. All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989) (voice)
  53. Modern Love (1990)
  54. The Player (1992) (Cameo)
  55. Cop and a 1/2 (1993)
  56. A Century of Cinema (1994) (documentary)
  57. All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 (1995) (voice)
  58. The Maddening (1995)
  59. Frankenstein and Me (1996)
  60. Citizen Ruth (1996)
  61. Striptease (1996)
  62. Mad Dog Time (1996)
  63. Meet Wally Sparks (1997)
  64. Bean (1997)
  65. Boogie Nights (1997)
  66. Crazy Six (1998)
  67. Waterproof (1999)
  68. The Hunter's Moon (1999)
  69. Pups (1999)
  70. Big City Blues (1999)
  71. Stringer (1999)
  72. Mystery, Alaska (1999)
  73. The Crew (2000)
  74. The Last Producer (2000) (also director)
  75. Driven (2001)
  76. Tempted (2001)
  77. Hotel (2001)
  78. The Hollywood Sign (2001)
  79. On Heart and Kidneys (2001)
  80. Snapshots (2002)
  81. Time of the Wolf (2002)
  82. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002) (voice) (Avery Carrington)
  83. Hard Ground (2003)
  84. The Librarians (2003)
  85. 4th and Life (2003) (documentary)
  86. Gumball 3000: The Movie (2003)
  87. Without a Paddle (2004)
  88. The Longest Yard (2005)
  89. The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)
  90. Cloud 9 (2006)
  91. End Game (2006)
  92. Forget About It (2006)
  93. Grilled (2006)


  1. Deal (2006)
  2. Randy and the Mob (2006)
  3. Delgo (2006) (voice)
  4. Broken Bridges (2006)
  5. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007)

TV work

  • Riverboat (cast member from 1959-1960)
  • Gunsmoke (cast member from 1962-1965)
  • Hawk (1966) (canceled after 17 episodes)
  • Fade-In (1968)
  • Double Jeopardy (1970) (pilot for Dan August)
  • Hunters Are for Killing (1970)
  • Run, Simon, Run (1970)
  • The X-Files (2000)
  • Dan August (1970-1971)
  • Out of This World (1987-1991) (voice only)
  • B.L. Stryker: The Dancer's Touch (1989) (pilot for B.L. Stryker)
  • B.L. Stryker (1989-1990)
  • B.L. Stryker: King of Jazz (1990)
  • B.L. Stryker: Die Laughing (1990) (also director)
  • Evening Shade (1990-1994)
  • The Man from Left Field (1993) (also director and producer)
  • Raven (1997)
  • Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms (1998)
  • Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business (1998)
  • Hard Time (1998) (also director)
  • Hard Time: The Premonition (1999)
  • Hard Time: Hostage Hotel (1999)
  • Johnson County War (2002) (miniseries)
  • Miss Lettie and Me (2002)
  • Hard Ground (2003)
  • Robot Chicken (2005) (Guest voice)
  • My Name Is Earl (2006)

Reynolds also appeared on the World Wrestling Federation's Wrestlemania X in 1994, appearing as guest ring announcer.

Romantic Links

  • Adrienne Barbeau
  • Susan Clark
  • Sally Field
  • Dinah Shore
  • Inger Stevens
  • Brenda Vaccaro


External links