How sad. Learning that Burt Reynolds has died.
While he looked poorly in the last few years I never really thought about it as more than just aging. In time we'll probably know more.
But what a body of work he left us...including two movies "The Longest Yard" and "Gator" which were partially filmed in Savannah, a city he loved.
I moved to the south from New York when "Smokey And The Bandit" was as big in the area as if Elvis were doing a concert--the film didn't get rave reviews, but audiences certainly didn't care and in retrospect it's a movie I love watching over and over--partly because of the wonderful Jackie Gleason and partly because you could see on screen what was beginning to be a true romance between Burt and Sally Field (who has a local connection as well having shot "Forrest Gump" here).
He always felt under-appreciated not having won any acting awards; he was nominated for an Oscar for his work in "Boogie Nights," in the late 90s but he lost that to Robin Williams.
Burt Reynolds had a huge career — but even with his impressive resume, he turned down some of the most famous movie roles of all time. In his memoir But Enough About Me, Reynolds said he turned down the role of James Bond. His excuse? That the public wouldn’t accept an American playing 007
… Reynolds also turned down the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather, but this is one he didn’t regret. He acknowledged the rumor that Marlon Brando threatened to quit if Reynolds came on board: “I was flattered that he was upset.”
… He was offered the role of Han Solo in Star Wars, but “didn’t want to play that kind of role at the time.”
… Reynolds turned down Richard Gere’s role in Pretty Woman and Jack Nicholson’s Role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
… Other reported turn-downs include Rosemary’s Baby, M*A*S*H, Taxi Driver, and Rocky.
Rest in peace Burt. I'm sure there's a black Trans Am waiting for you in heaven.
Celebrities React To Burt Reynolds Death
- Sally Field: "There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away. They stay alive, even forty years later. My years with Burt never leave my mind. He will be in my history and my heart, for as long as I live. Rest, Buddy."
- Mark Wahlberg: "Rest in peace to a legend and a friend."
- Dolly Parton: "Oh how sad I am today along with Burt‘s millions of fans around the world as we mourn one of our favorite leading men. You will always be my favorite sheriff, rest in peace my little buddy and I will always love you, Dolly.
- Russell Cowe: "R.I.P Burt Reynolds. He was a friend of mine. R.I.P Judge, R.I.P Old Bear, R.I.P Innocence, R.I.P Youth. Remembering every member of the Mystery, Alaska cast and crew, what a lovely community that was, I hope you are all happy and busy."
- James Woods: "I finally got to work with one of my heroes in 2006. #BurtReynolds led a really fun cast in Spokane and we laughed all day, every day he was on the set. A wry humor and a warm heart defined this wonderful man. He will be sorely missed. #RIPBurtReynolds"
- Arnold Schwarzenegger: "Burt Reynolds was one of my heroes. He was a trailblazer. He showed the way to transition from being an athlete to being the highest paid actor, and he always inspired me. He also had a great sense of humor - check out his Tonight Show clips. My thoughts are with his family."
- Patton Oswalt: "Burt Reynolds & Clint Eastwood were fired from GUNSMOKE & RAWHIDE at the same time. Burt was told he couldn't act and Clint his neck was too skinny. In the parking lot, Burt said to Clint, "I dunno what you're gonna do, but I'm gonna take acting lessons."
- Dale Earnhardt Jr: “Stroker Ace was born to race”Much respect to you Burt Reynolds. RIP"
- Marilu Henner: "Noooo! Not Burt Reynolds! He was the most generous, talented, special man, co-star & friend EVER! I loved him so much & was lucky to work w/him 5 times. So many great memories!"
- Reba McEntire: "My good friend has started a new journey. Rest in my peace my friend. I’ll never forget the wonderful times we spent together."
You can't think about Burt's movie career without "Deliverance"
In his younger years, Johnny Carson brought out the best in Burt's great sense of humor:
Here is Burt earlier this year talking about what was the last film he ever made: The Last Movie Star