Burt Reynolds dead at 82

  • 07/09/2018

Boogie Nights star Burt Reynolds has died, aged 82.

The Hollywood veteran, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the Paul Thomas Anderson classic, died of a reported cardiac arrest at a Florida hospital.

Reynolds rose to fame in the 1970s, starring in films Deliverance, The Longest Yard and Smokey and the Bandit.

Born in 1936, he began his long screen career in the late 1950s. In the 1960s he joined the cast of western TV epic Gunsmoke, which led to a career on the big screen.

In his own opinion, 1972's Deliverance was his crowning glory.

"If I had to put only one of my movies in a time capsule, it would be Deliverance," Reynolds wrote in his memoir, released in 2015.

"I don't know if it's the best acting I've done, but it's the best movie I've ever been in. It proved I could act, not only to the public but me."

Just before its release he posed nude for Cosmopolitan magazine, a move he'd later regret, saying it cost Deliverance at the Oscars - which instead went to The Godfather.

He later became just the second man to ever appear on the cover of Playboy - with his clothes on.

His tour de force as Jack Horner in 1997's Boogie Nights almost never happened - the role was first offered to Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel, Warren Beatty and others who all declined it, before Reynolds accepted.

The Boogie Nights cast.
The Boogie Nights cast. Photo credit: New Line Cinema

Initially unhappy with the film, Reynolds fired his agent - but changed his mind later on, saying he was proud of the movie. 

At the time of his death, Reynolds had been cast in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but it's unclear whether he had shot any scenes.

Reynolds is survived by his adopted son, Quinton.