Burt Reynolds, the handsome film and television actor known for his acclaimed performances in "Deliverance" and "Boogie Nights", commercial hits such as "Smokey and the Bandit" and an active off-screen love life that included relationships with Loni Anderson and Sally Field, he died at the age of 82.
His death was confirmed on Thursday by his agent Todd Eisner. In a statement, her niece, Nancy Lee Hess, described her death as "totally unexpected," although she acknowledged that she had health problems.
"It was hard, anyone who breaks the line in a river and ends the movie is tough And that's what it was, my uncle was eager to work with Quentin Tarantino and the incredible cast that was put together," he said, referring to to the next movie "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" with Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt.
Hess noted the kindness and generosity of his uncle, and thanked "all his incredible fans who have always supported and encouraged him, through all the hills and valleys of his life and career"
The mustachioed and smiling Reynolds inspired a wide range of answers about his long and irregular career: critical acclaim and critical contempt, popular success and box-office bombs. Reynolds made dozens of films, from light films like the hits "The Cannonball Run" and "Smokey and the Bandit" to more serious films like "The Longest Yard" and "The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing".
I've received some of the highest and lowest honors in the world from the movie. He was nominated for an Oscar for "Boogie Nights," Paul Thomas Anderson's film about the pornography industry; he won an Emmy for the television series "Evening Shade" and was praised for his starring role in "Deliverance".
But he was also a frequent nominee for the Razzie, the ironic prize for Hollywood's worst performance, and his personal life provided constant drama, particularly after a rough divorce from Anderson in 1995. He had a troubled marriage with Judy Carne, a romance with Dinah Shore and a relationship with Field damaged by her acknowledged jealousy of her success.
Through the only thing he presented was a great person, often the first to make fun of his own image in conflict.
"My career is not like a normal letter, mine looks like a heart attack," he told The Associated Press in 2001. "I've made more than 100 movies, and I'm the only actor that has been canned by the three networks, I personify longevity. "
Reynolds was honest about his failures, his remorse, and about his many famous friends. He would call nude posing for Cosmopolitan one of his biggest mistakes because it undermined the respect he had won for "Liberation." He revered Spencer Tracy as an early mentor and got to know Johnny Carson, Clint Eastwood, Frank Sinatra and many others.
"Burt Reynolds was one of my heroes," tweeted Arnold Schwarzenegger. "He was a pioneer, he showed the way to go from being an athlete to being the highest-paid actor, and he always inspired me, he also had a great sense of humor, take a look at his video clips from the Tonight Show family."
Born in Lansing, Michigan and raised in Florida, he was a Southern Conference runner at Florida State University in the 1950s. Reynolds seemed to be heading to the NFL until a knee injury and a car accident ended with his possibilities. He left college and moved to New York, where he worked as a janitor, bodyguard, bodyguard and dishwasher before returning to Florida in 1957 and enrolling in acting classes at Palm Beach Junior College.