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September 06, 2018

Burt Reynolds of ‘Cosmo,’ ‘Boogie Nights’ Fame Dies at 82

JUPITER, Fla.—Burt Reynolds—a man known just as much for his sex appeal and bushy moustache as he was his acting abilities—has died at the age of 82. Reynolds was considered one of Hollywood’s most bankable male stars in the 1970s and early 1980s, and enjoyed a career comeback of sorts in 1997’s Boogie Nights from director Paul Thomas Anderson. But his reputation as a sex symbol was cemented in 1972 when he posed naked in a centerfold spread for Cosmopolitan Magazine. Despite the fame and accolades from his photo and work in Boogie Nights, Reynolds expressed regret over his participation in both projects. “It was really stupid. I don’t know what I was thinking I really wish I hadn’t done that,” he said of the photo shoot during a 2016 interview with AOL at SXSW. He was much more vocal through the years about his dislike for Boogie Nights and its director. He often said he hated the film and hated working with Anderson, noting the subject matter made him uncomfortable. Boogie Nights is the story of a dishwasher-turned-adult legend, set in the Golden Age of Porn. Reynolds played director Jack Horner, who discovers Mark Wahlberg’s Eddie Adams, who renames himself Dirk Diggler for his new career. Jack Horner—a role Reynolds reportedly wanted to play with an Irish accent—is thought by industry insiders to be based on a few directors from back in the day, including Cecil Howard—known for Scoundrels, October Silk and four volumes of The Last X-Rated Movie—and Johnny Wadd director Bob Chinn. Despite Reynold’s protests about the film and the director, Boogie Nights garnered him some of the highest praise of his career, and he earned nominations and a few wins at the Oscars, Screen Actors Guild Awards, various Films Critics awards and the Golden Globes. Born Feb. 11, 1936, in Michigan, Reynolds was a standout football player who originally dreamed of a career in the NFL. A knee injury in his sophomore year at Florida State effectively ended his sports career and he soon turned to acting. His first major roles were in the theater in New York, but early in his career he moved to Hollywood and was quickly cast in TV roles. He joined the cast of Gunsmoke as blacksmith Quint Asper in the late 1960s. His breakout film role, however, came in 1972 with his role of Lewis Medlock in Deliverance. His most well-known films include The Longest Yard, Smokey and the Bandit, Semi-Tough, Smokey and the Bandit II, The Cannonball Run and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. His romantic interests throughout the years also caught the attention of fans and media. He was married twice—once to Judy Carne of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In fame and once to WKRP In Cincinnati star Loni Anderson. Their contentious divorce is often credited for Reynold’s career decline. He also had high-profile relationships with Dinah Shore and Sally Field, whom he once described as the love of his life. Reynold is survived bu his son, Quinton, whom he and Anderson adopted during their marriage.   Photo taken by Alan Light.

 
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