WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Actor Burt Reynolds suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on Thursday, his agent, Todd Eisner, confirmed.
- Reynolds, popularly known for his thick mustache and easy-going charms, was considered as an iconic sex symbol during the 70s and the 80s.
- He became one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors, but was later fell into financial trouble amid private ventures in an Atlanta restaurant and a professional sports team, CNN reports.
Hollywood’s sex symbol of the 70s, Burt Reynolds died on Thursday after suffering a cardiac arrest. A call to 911 for an ambulance from his Martin County estate in Florida was recorded.
Reynolds prominent films include “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Boogie Nights.” The Michigan native also tried his hands in directing and later earned a reputation for philanthropy. He founded the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film & Theatre in Florida.
After landing roles as a Southern heartthrob to tough guy, he later tried his talent in comedy. His notable role was Rep. David Dilbeck in the 1996 film “Striptease” opposite Demi Moore. Although the film was a box office flop, Reynolds was praised for his comedic prowess.
The 1972 thriller “Deliverance,” launched Reynolds to stardom for portraying as outdoorsman Lewis Medlock. Reynolds has said it was his best film “by far”.
“I thought maybe this film is more important in a lot of ways than we’ve given it credit for,” he said in an interview years later.
According to Reynolds, the film’s infamous rape scene may have helped the public — especially men — better understand the horrors of sexual attacks.
Reynolds landed a role in the New York City Center revival of “Mister Roberts” in 1957, as well as a recurring spot in the TV series “Gunsmoke.”
But it was in 1974 when Reynolds had hit it big and starred as an ex-football player who landed in prison in the film “The Longest Yard.”
Reynolds posed nude in Cosmopolitan magazine in 1972, cementing his popularity as a sex symbol.
His star continued to shine through the 1970s and 1980s. He led the cast of “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Cannonball Run” movie franchises. Reynolds then earned People’s Choice Awards as all-around male entertainer of the year in 1979, 1982 and 1983.
Reynolds regretted turning down some of the biggest roles in Hollywood history, including James Bond to Han Solo in George Lucas’ 1977 blockbuster “Star Wars.”
“I took the part that was the most fun. … I didn’t take the part that would be the most challenging,” Reynolds said in a CNN interview.
His love life also drew headlines after a high-profile divorce to actress Loni Anderson preceded Reynolds’ bankruptcy filing in 1996, according to CNN.