Moved Multiple Times As A Child
Burt Reynolds has always led on the masses that he was born in Georgia. That said, it has recently come to light that he was born in Lansing, Michigan. After the army drafted his father, Burt, his mother and his sister moved to their father to Fort Leonard Wood until he was sent over to Europe
His family eventually settled in Flordia and that is where Burt discovered Football. He didn’t just discover the sport, he excelled in it. When he was in high school, Burt was named First Team All-State and All-Southern. Despite receiving a huge number of Scholarships, he decided to attend Florida State University and stay close to home. His hopes of becoming a huge Football star were shattered when he injured himself on the field. A car accident would occur sometime later and his injuries would get worse.
English Class Leads To Acting
Once his career in Football ended, Burt decided to become a police officer. He worked as a cop for awhile before he was convinced by his father to return to college and work towards becoming a parole officer. While taking classes at Palm Beach Junior College, Burt had to read Shakespeare in front of his class. His professor was so impressed with his reading that he recommended Burt appear in a play he was producing. This ultimately landed Burt with a 1956 Florida State Drama Award.
Stage To TV
It was an unexpected award that would end up changing Burt’s life forever. The award landed him a scholarship to Hyde Park Playhouse in New York City. TV executives discovered Reynolds while he was in a production called Mister Roberts. They gave him a TV contract that landed him reoccurring roles in shows like Gunsmoke, Hawk and Riverboat.
Burt Becomes A Heartthrob
1972’s Deliverance really put Reynolds on the map. He began an instant Hollywood heartthrob and everyone wanted to know what he’d be in next. Cosmopolitan even approached him and made him the first male centerfold in their magazine’s history. Soon the actor wasn’t only known for great acting, but also his good looks.
Reynolds was offered a lot of roles when he was at the height of his career and he rejected a good about of them. Some ended up being huge classics. He was asked to play Han Solo in Star Wars, John McClane in Die Hard and Garrett Breedlove in Terms of Endearment. No doubt, those three roles alone would have taken his career to even bigger heights. Jack Nicholson won as Oscar for the latter.
Did His Own Stunts
One thing that Burt Reynolds was always known for was performing his own stunts. However, it was a decision that he would learn to regret. Business Insider asked Burt if there was anything he regretted and he said, “Yeah, there’s a couple. When it’s cold and I’m limping around I think, ‘Why didn’t I let Hal [stuntman] make some money and I just sit down?’ But you can’t go back. It was a dumb macho thing.”
One Stunt Regret
They even talked about the biggest stunt regret, “I went over the falls in ‘Deliverance’ and I hit a rock and cracked my tailbone. I tell everyone I was a 31-year-old guy in great shape before I went over the falls. And once I got in they couldn’t find me,” Burt said. “I came out of the river about a mile away it seemed like, and I came out with no clothes. I had no shoes, socks — the falls tore them off. It was a pretty hairy stunt.”
Reynolds’ Most Treasured Possession
Reynold’s masterpiece is without doubt 1972’s Deliverance. The movie is a swirls adventure through Hillbilly camps and wild rivers. One of their saviors were the canoes that floated them back to safety. Once filming was finished, the crew chopped up the canoes used in the movie. Burt managed to rescue one and he has it displayed in his home. According to Burt, that boat is his most prized possession.
Friends With Marilyn Monroe
During an interview with 11th Hour, Burt covered in his relationship with Marilyn Monroe. “Well, I walked to a class with her for the studio for a while. We’d walk down the street together, and I was in my early twenties then. But I noticed that no one recognized her. So I mentioned that to her. She looked at me and said, “Oh, do you want to see her?” I, of course, told her I would love to,” Burt said. “All she did was change her posture, change the way we were walking, and within five minutes, we couldn’t move, so many people were around us. It was pretty amazing.”
Clint & Burt Got Fired Together
The history behind Burt’s friendship with Clint Eastwood goes way back. They both had gigs at Universal and were both fired on the same day. During an 11th Hour interview, Burt said, “They told Clint that he talked too slowly and that his Adam’s apple stuck out too far, so they were going to let him go. They told me I couldn’t act, and they were going to let me go. So we walked out of the studio together and started walking down the street outside. I looked over and said ‘Clint, you are in some big trouble, buddy.’ He asked me why and I said, ‘Well, I can learn how to act, but that Adam’s apple isn’t going anywhere.'”
Burt Reynolds released his memoir in 2015. It is definitely something that every Burt Reynolds fan should open. he calls out everyone that ever wronged him and apologizes to those he wronged. He also isn’t shy when it comes to dropping juicy details about his relationships or dramas behind-the-scenes of some of his movies.
The Reynolds Childhood
Growing up, Reynolds always idolized his father. His dad was a war hero who defended his country against the greatest evil of his time. It should shock nobody that Reynolds wanted to be just like the guy. Reynolds has recalled time and time again that most of his childhood was spent trying to prove himself to his very strict father. He want nothing more then for his father to be proud of him.
Had Lots Of Money & He Liked To Spend It
Burt didn’t hold back when it came to throwing his money around. Vanity Fair covered his spending habits by saying, “At his peak, he was earning about $10 million a year. His real-estate portfolio included, in addition to Valhalla, a 153-acre ranch in Jupiter, Florida; a spread in Arkansas; mansions in Beverly Hills and Malibu; a Tara-like estate in Georgia; and a mountaintop retreat in the Smokies of North Carolina. He owned a private jet, a helicopter, and numerous custom-made sports cars…Plus 150 horses. Plus well over $100,000 worth of toupees fashioned by Edward Katz, “the Armani of hair replacement.”
His Love For Racing Cars
Looking a the library of films that feature Burt Reynolds, you’ll notice two things, firstly, they usually involve a lot of risk and a lot of them have to do with Burt speeding down some kind of highway. It should come as no shock that Burt has a huge love for car racing. He used to race Steve McQueen often and once even considered leaving behind the world of acting for a job in car racing.
His Father’s Love
When asked what his great achievement was, he replied with his father’s love. In his exact words, he stated the following, “My dad never told me he loved me but, towards the end of his life, he told me he was proud of me. That meant the same to me as being told I was loved and it felt like a huge achievement. After he told me that I ran to my room and cried. It touched me so much.”
Made Bad Investments
One of the big spender’s biggest flaws was his bad investment choices. He lost a lot of money over the years. His first failure came when he invested in a restaurant called Po’ Folks. It was a massive failure. He then purchased a stake in the Tampa Bay Bandits, a USFL team. After three years the team fell apart. Amidst his many investment failures was also a nightclub and a dinner theater.
The Inger Stevens Incident
In 1970, Burt Reynolds had struck up a relationship with Inger Stevens. At that point, he was starting to bloom as one of the hottest actors in Hollywood and she was a Swedish bombshell. It was long before their relationship became plagued with arguments and bouts of not speaking to each other. Amidst the crumbling foundation of their relationship, Inger Stevens did the unthinkable and broke everyone’s heart.
Burt’s Happiest Moments
When asked during an interview about when his happiest moment, he replied by saying, “I was never happier than on the set of Deliverance in 1972. I beat Jack Nicholson, Lee Marvin and Gene Hackman to the role of Lewis Medlock. Everything felt right during the filming of that movie.”
When Burt was asked what his earliest memory was, it took us back to a time long forgotten. It took us to a much younger America, one that is different than the one we love today. The year was 1941 and a young Burt was watching his father in uniform. As his father walked off in uniform, he turned to his mother and asked where his dad was going. She said, “He’ll be back as soon as he’s done with whipping the Germans.”
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During an interview with MailOnline, they asked what Burt’s dream dinner date would be, he replied with, “I got to know Mae West in the late Seventies. I’d go to her art deco house in Los Angeles, sit on her bed and listen to her talk all day. She died in 1980 at the grand old age of 87. I’d love to have one more night with her, listening to her tales about Hollywood’s golden age.
Burt Reynolds married Judy Carne in 1963. She was known for a comedy variety act at the time and he was still trying to get a gig. She apparently helped him get into the business. The two divorced after three years of marriage and Burt went on to find himself on top of the world. Judy Carne ended up being best known as Burt’s first wife.
Not Returning Her Calls
In the late 1970’s, Burt Reynolds was on top of the world. He wasn’t just the hottest actor in Hollywood, but he had started dating Sally Fields and was loving life. Judy was having issues and needed help paying her legal fees. She would constantly call him up, but he’d hardly ever answer the phone. At the end of the day, Burt has stated that Judy has broken his heart by making money off of his good name.
The One That Got Away
For Burt Reynold, the one that got away will always be Sally Fields. The pair began a heated five-year relationship in the late 1970’s, but would eventually part after several turned down proposals. During their five years in love, they acted in four movies together, Smokey and the Bandit, Smokey and the Bandit II, The End and Hooper.
Still Waiting For Sally
Burt still thinks of Sally Fields often. During an interview, he stated, “That sense of loss never goes away. I have no idea what Sally thinks about it. She could pick up the phone and speak to me but she never does. I spoke to her son recently. He said that his mum talks about me all the time. Maybe she’ll phone me one day. I’d love to have that conversation.”
Meeting Loni Anderson
Stroker Ace was supposed to be a movie that would follow in the footsteps of his past films like Smokey and The Bandit. Needless to say, the movie didn’t live up to his past brushes with success. While it totally bombed, something good did come of the movie as it introduced Reynold to Loni Anderson. The movie did indeed spark a huge romantic affair between the two.
Married To Loni Anderson
After years of dating in the 1980’s, Loni Anderson and Burt Reynolds got married in what was one of the biggest celebrity weddings in Hollywood history. The two combined their fortunes and lived in complete luxury. They were truly a model couple for the 1980’s as Loni was one of the biggest bombshells at the time and Reynolds was a heartthrob.
Burt’s Adopted Son
Shortly after getting married, Burt and Loni adopted a son named Quinton. While Quinton remains more close to his mother than his father, the two are on good terms. While most would expect the son of two huge stars to follow in their footsteps, Quinton decided to take on a backstage kind of role. He usually plays the role of an assistant cameraman
In 1993, the Hollywood dream couple ended their eleven-year relationship. This didn’t mean they’d go their separate ways. Divorce preceding lasted a long time. According to Loni Anderson, Burt owed her thousands of dollars in settlement payments. For twenty years he refused to give her this money. Finally, in recent years he paid her and now they are on good terms.
He Is A Warrior
Burt is currently 81-years-old and he is noticeably becoming frailer. That said, Burt is and has always been a warrior and he is still acting and staying active. A friend of Burt’s told Closer Weekly, “As long as his body is willing, he wants to continue acting until the day he dies. Burt believes, despite his aches and pains, he still has a lot of living left to do.”