Burt Reynolds had been filming Quentin Tarantino’s new movie “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” with Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio at the time of his death. The actor went into cardiac arrest and died at Jupiter Medical in Florida this morning, surrounded by his family and manager Erik Kritzer. Plagued with health problems, Reynolds checked into rehab for an addiction to prescription drugs. Reynolds was hospitalized and placed in intensive care for flu-like symptoms and dehydration in 2013. Two years earlier, he underwent heart surgery after his doctor found his arteries were closed during a routine physical.
In 1961 Burt starred on Broadway in Hugh Wheeler’s Look, We’ve Come Through at the Hudson Theatre with Zohra Lampert.
A 70s sex symbol, he lounged naked on a bearskin rug with his arm covering his modesty for Cosmopolitan in 1972. He was known for his trademark mustache, rugged looks and macho appearance. He appeared in TV shows like “Gunsmoke” and “Dan August”. His first big movie breakout role was as Lewis Medlock in “Deliverance” in 1972. “The Longest Yard”, “Smokey and the Bandit”, “Hooper”, “The Cannonball Run” and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”, followed. Reynolds was one of the most bankable actors.
In 1997 he was nominated for a best supporting actor Academy Award for “Boogie Nights” and won an Emmy Award for his role in the 1990-1994 TV series “Evening Shade”.
Reynolds also directed several movies in which he starred, including “Gator” (1976), “The End” (1978), “Sharky’s Machine” (1981) and “Stick” (1985).
Last year, he received critical acclaim for his performance in the indie movie “The Last Movie Star”.
He started the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater from 1979 to 1989. Founded, built and operated by Burt Reynolds, the $2 million Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre originally broke ground in May 1978 and gained success and fame from its inception. Martin Sheen, Sarah Jessica Parker, Julie Harris, Carol Burnett, Charles Nelson Reilly Farrah Fawcett, Eartha Kitt, Shelley Berman, Ned Beatty, Vincent Gardenia, Deborah Raffin, Kirstie Alley, Elliott Gould, Robert Hays, Marilu Henner, Alice Ghostley, Ossie Davis, Robert Urich and Judd Nelson all preformed there. Sally Field, Tyne Daly and Gail Strickland opened the theater’s first season with Vanities in January 1979. The building also housed the Burt Reynolds Institute for Theatre Training, where more than 100 apprentices took classes from stars such as Liza Minnelli, Sheen, Reilly, DeLuise and Reynolds.
Reynolds’ married “Laugh-In’s” Judy Carne and Loni Anderson, who he has a son son, Quinton Anderson Reynolds, by. His high profile romances with Dinah Shore and Sally Field rocked the tabloids.
Sally Field, 71, paid tribute to the Hollywood legend saying “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.”