The ex-jock from Florida starred in ‘Deliverance’ and ‘Boogie Nights’ but preferred making such populist, fun fare as ‘Smokey and the Bandit,’ ‘The Cannonball Run’ and ‘Starting Over.’
Burt Reynolds, the charismatic star of such films as Deliverance, The Longest Yard and Smokey and the Bandit who setThe Cannonball Run out to have as much fun as possible on and off the screen — and wildly succeeded — has died. He was 82.
Reynolds, who received an Oscar nomination when he portrayed porn director Jack Horner in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights (1997) and was the No. 1 box-office attraction for a five-year stretch starting in the late 1970s, died Thursday morning at Jupiter Medical Center in Florida
In the early 1970s, Reynolds was a veteran of TV and film who spurred the curiosity of Hollywood producers through his amusing appearances on latenight talkshows, as well as the hyped publicity stunt of appearing as the first celebrity male-nude centerfold in a 1972 issue of Cosmopolitan. He was thus cast in his first A-title role, in John Boorman’s “Deliverance,” one of the most popular and well-received films of 1972 (several major actors, including Marlon Brando, had turned the role down before it was offered to Reynolds). The same year Woody Allen cast him in a small comedic role in his film “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex.”
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