‘Smokey and the Bandit’ Star Burt Reynolds Dead at 82
Burt Reynolds, beloved for his roles in Smokey and the Bandit, The Longest Yard, and The Cannonball Run, passed away Thursday. He was 82.
The story was broken by US Weekly's Sarah Hearon, who wrote that Reynolds went into cardiac arrest at a Florida hospital. Hearon wrote that Reynolds was surrounded by his family when he passed.
We Southerners in particular love Reynolds' role as Bo Darville, aka "Bandit", in 1977's Smokey and the Bandit and its 1980 sequel, Smokey and the Bandit II.
The Hollywood Reporter's Mike Barnes wrote that while Reynolds expressed disappointment in himself for not taking on as many serious roles in his prime and turning down a few Oscar-winning roles, he was proud of and preferred his work as a hero of populist movies like Smokey and the Bandit and Cannonball Run.
Barnes points out that Reynolds was the #1 box office draw five years in a row in the late '70s.
Reynolds did land some iconic serious roles though, including the part of Jack Horner in 1997's Boogie Nights, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. While he didn't win the Oscar for the role, he did win a Golden Globe.
He also considered his role as survivalist Lewis Medlock in 1972's Deliverance his best performance.
I think I can speak for most of us, however, when I say that Burt will always be the Bandit in our eyes.