Burt Reynolds dies at 82 Thursday morning

Burt Reynolds dies at the age of 82

"My doctor said I needed to undergo bypass surgery immediately", he told People at the time.

The film was a massive success, and earned $126 million at the box office, which today would equate to $508 million.

After appearing in several plays, Reynolds began booking TV roles, and soon broke through with his role in the 1972 thriller "Deliverance". The film was later remade with Adam Sandler taking the ball as Paul "Wrecking" Crewe, while Reynolds played Coach Nate Scarborough. His final movie, "Defining Moments", is set to be released in December, the Hollywood Report said in its story. The movie's infamous rape scene may have helped the public - especially men - better understand the horrors of sexual attacks, Reynolds said. "By the time I finally woke up and tried to get it right, nobody would give me a chance".

Burton Leon Reynolds Jnr was born on February 11, 1936, and grew up in Florida. He appeared naked - reclining on a bearskin rug with his arm strategically positioned for the sake of modesty - in a centrefold in the women's magazine Cosmopolitan in 1972. Reynolds was romantically linked with a string of women that, among others, included tennis star Chris Evert, Smokey and the Bandit co-star Sally Field, and singer and longtime partner Dinah Shore, who was 20 years older. He also earned an Emmy in 1991 for the memorable role. That kind of star power has been rarely seen since then, and may never be seen again.

More news: Aretha Franklin's funeral to fuse spirit with star power

Reynolds refused to star as 007, believing an "American can't play James Bond".

Reynolds is survived by his son, Quinton Anderson Reynolds. Met Burt Reynolds a few years back... so glad I did. Reynolds also generated attention for financial woes and his struggles with prescription pain medication. The objective was "to regain control of his life" after becoming addicted to painkillers prescribed following back surgery, his manager said. He showed the way to transition from being an athlete to being the highest paid actor, and he always inspired me.

Reynolds first rose to prominence starring in television series such as "Gunsmoke" and "Dan August".

Last April the fading box-office legend showed showed up bravely showed up at the premiere of his final Hollywood hurrah, a film aptly called "Dog Years", but fans were horrified at his appearance.

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