Burt Reynolds, Hollywood actor, dies of heart attack

Burt Reynolds
Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds, the wisecracking 1970s movie heartthrob and Oscar nominee, has died at the age of 82.

According to Us Weekly, he passed away in a Florida hospital of a heart attack, attended by his family.

The moustachioed actor had undergone heart bypass surgery in 2010. Reynolds is survived by his son, Quinton.

He shot to fame in 1972’s Deliverance, and also starred in Smokey and the Bandit, Boogie Nights and The Cannonball Run.

The veteran actor’s agent, Todd Eisner, told NBC News his passing was “heartbreaking”.

Reynolds died at the Jupiter Medical Center in Florida, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted that Reynolds was one of his heroes.

Reynolds’ career went into freefall in the 1980s and his finances were ravaged by failed investments in restaurants and a Florida football team.

He made a 1997 comeback with his role as a porn film director in Boogie Nights, which won him an Oscar nomination.

He was married twice, firstly to British actress Judy Carne in 1963, but they divorced two years later amid accusations of her over-spending and his infidelity.

Reynolds went on to marry actress Loni Anderson in 1988, but that also ended bitterly in 1993.

After the divorce from Carne, Reynolds filed for bankruptcy with $11m in debts. In 2014, he was forced to sell many prized memorabilia, including his Golden Globe award.

But when Vanity Fair journalist Ned Zeman asked him what he would have done differently, Reynolds said: “I would have spent more money and had a lot more fun.”

As a young man, Reynolds was a skilled football player, and it won him a scholarship to Florida State University.

After a knee injury ended his sporting prospects, Reynolds landed his first acting role in a local production of the play Outward Bound. He received the 1956 Florida State Drama Award for that performance.

Share this story