Burton Leon Reynolds Jr. (February 11, 1936 – September 6, 2018) was an American actor, director, and producer of film and television, considered a sex symbol and icon of American popular culture.
Reynolds first rose to prominence when he starred in several different television series such as Gunsmoke (1962–1965), Hawk (1966), and Dan August (1970–1971). Although Reynolds had leading roles in such films as Navajo Joe (1966) and 100 Rifles (1969), his breakthrough role was as Lewis Medlock in Deliverance (1972). Reynolds played the leading role – often a lovable rogue – in a number of subsequent box office hits, such as White Lightning (1973) The Longest Yard (1974), Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Semi-Tough (1977), The End (1978), Hooper (1978), Starting Over (1979), Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981), Sharky’s Machine (1981), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), and Cannonball Run II (1984), several of which he directed himself. He was nominated twice for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
Reynolds was voted the world’s number one box-office star for five consecutive years (from 1978 to 1982) in the annual Top Ten Money Making Stars Poll, a record he shares with Bing Crosby. After a number of box office failures, Reynolds returned to television, starring in the sitcom Evening Shade (1990–1994), which won a Golden Globe Award and Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for him. His performance as high-minded pornographer Jack Horner in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights (1997) brought renewed critical attention for him, earning another Golden Globe (for Best Supporting Actor—Motion Picture) for him, with nominations for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Reynolds died of a heart attack at the Jupiter Medical Center in Jupiter, Florida, on September 6, 2018, at the age of 82. His ex-wife Loni Anderson issued a statement explaining that she and their son Quinton would miss him and “his great laugh.” On September 20, 2018, the two held a private memorial service for Reynolds at a funeral home in North Palm Beach, Florida. Those in attendance included Sally Field, FSU coach Bobby Bowden, friend Lee Corso, and quarterback Doug Flutie. Reynolds’ body was cremated and his ashes were given to his niece. He was subsequently interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on February 11, 2021, on what would have been his 85th birthday. (Wiki)