Burton Leon "Burt" Reynolds, Jr. (born February 11, 1936) is an American actor, director and voice artist. Some of his notable roles include Bo 'Bandit' Darville in Smokey and the Bandit, Lewis Medlock in Deliverance, Bobby "Gator" McCluskey in White Lightning and sequel Gator, Charlie B. Barkin in All Dogs Go to Heaven, Paul Crewe in The Longest Yard and 1970s adult film Jack Horner in Boogie Nights.
Reynolds' parents were Burton Milo Reynolds, Sr. (1906-2002), who had Cherokee and Irish ancestry, and Fern H. Reynolds (née Miller). Burton Leon Reynolds, Jr. was born in the city of Waycross, Georgia as stated in his autobiography on February 11, 1936. He states in his autobiography that his family was living in Lansing when his father was drafted into the United States Army. Reynolds, his mother, and his sister joined his father at Fort Leonard Wood, where they lived for two years. When Reynolds' father was sent to Europe, the family returned to Lansing. In 1946, the Reynolds family moved to Riviera Beach, Florida. His father, Burt Sr., eventually became Chief of Police of Riviera Beach, which is adjacent to West Palm Beach to the north.
In his sophomore year at Palm Beach High School, Reynolds was named First Team All State and All Southern as a fullback, and received multiple scholarship offers. After graduating from Palm Beach in West Palm Beach, Reynolds attended Florida State University on a college football scholarship, and played halfback. While at Florida State, Reynolds became roommates with now notable college football broadcaster and analyst Lee Corso. Reynolds hoped to be named to All-American teams and to have a career in professional football; however, in the first game of the season, Reynolds was injured and a car accident later that year worsened the injury. With his college football career ended, Reynolds considered becoming a police officer, but his father suggested that he finish college and become a parole officer. In order to keep up with his studies, he began taking classes at Palm Beach Junior College (PBJC) in neighboring Lake Worth. In his first term at PBJC Reynolds was in a class taught by Watson B. Duncan III. Duncan pushed Reynolds into trying out for a play he was producing, Outward Bound. He cast Reynolds in the lead based on his impressions from listening to Reynolds read Shakespeare in class. Reynolds won the 1956 Florida State Drama Award for his performance in Outward Bound. Reynolds calls Duncan his mentor and the most influential person in his life. While at Florida State, Reynolds became a brother of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
The Florida State Drama Award included a scholarship to the Hyde Park Playhouse, a summer stock theater, in Hyde Park, New York. Reynolds saw the opportunity as an agreeable alternative to more physically demanding summer jobs, but did not yet see acting as a career. While working at Hyde Park, Reynolds met Joanne Woodward, who helped Reynolds find an agent, and was cast in Tea and Sympathy at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. He received favorable reviews for his performance and went on tour with Tea and Sympathy, driving the bus as well as appearing on stage.
After the tour Reynolds returned to New York and enrolled in acting classes. His classmates included Frank Gifford, Carol Lawrence, Red Buttons and Jan Murray. After a botched improvisation in acting class, Reynolds briefly considered returning to Florida, but he soon got a part in a revival of Mister Roberts, with Charlton Heston as the star. After the play closed, the director, John Forsythe, arranged a movie audition with Joshua Logan for Reynolds. The movie was Sayonara, and Reynolds was told that he could not be in the movie because he looked too much like Marlon Brando. Logan advised Reynolds to go to Hollywood, but Reynolds did not feel confident enough to do so.
Reynolds began working odd jobs while waiting for acting opportunities. He waited tables, washed dishes, drove a delivery truck and worked as a bouncer at the Roseland Ballroom. It was while working as a dockworker that Reynolds was offered $150 to jump through a glass window on a live television show.
He made his Broadway debut in Look, We've Come Through. Reynolds first starred on television with Darren McGavin in the 1959-1961 NBC series, Riverboat.
On June 11, 1959, Reynolds portrayed Tony Sapio with Ruta Lee as Gloria Fallon in the episode entitled "The Payoff" of NBC's 1920s crime drama, The Lawless Years. In 1960-1961, he appeared in two episodes of the syndicated series The Blue Angels, about elite fliers of the United States Navy.
On November 11, 1959, Reynolds was cast with Whitney Blake and Howard McNear in the episode "The Good Samaritan" of the syndicated western series, Pony Express, starring Grant Sullivan, which aired in 1960 on the centennial of the primitive mail exchange service.
About this time, Reynolds guest-starred in the syndicated crime drama, The Brothers Brannagan in the episode "Bordertown". He went on to appear in a number of other shows, including three segments of the Ron Hayes syndicated adventure series, The Everglades. He is remembered too for the role of Quint Asper, the blacksmith/ de facto deputy, and half-Native American on CBS's Gunsmoke from 1962-1965. In 1962, Reynolds secured a guest appearance on Perry Mason in "The Case of the Counterfeit Crank". In 1963, he played a character named Rocky in The Twilight Zone episode 155 "The Bard," in which he amusingly lampooned his then-lookalike Marlon Brando. In 1965, he guest-starred as Technical Sergeant Chapman, a Flight Engineer in the second season episode 7, "Show Me A Hero" of ABC's 12 O-Clock High.
Reynolds' film debut came in 1961 in Angel Baby. At the urging of friend Clint Eastwood, Reynolds used his TV fame to secure leading roles in overseas low-budget films, commonly called "Spaghetti Westerns". (Eastwood advised Reynolds from experience, as he had done the same). Reynolds' first Spaghetti Western, Navajo Joe, came out in 1966. These low-budget starring roles established Reynolds as a bankable leading man in movies and earned him starring roles in American big-budget motion pictures. During this period, he starred in two short-lived cop shows: Hawk and Dan August. He disparaged these shows, telling Johnny Carson that Dan August had "two forms of expression: "mean and meaner." His breakout performance in Deliverance in 1972 made him a star. The same year, Reynolds gained notoriety when he posed naked in the April (Vol. 172, No. 4) issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine. Reynolds claims the centerfold in Cosmopolitan hurt the chances for Deliverance and the film's stars, including himself, from receiving Academy Awards.
Reynolds was offered the role of James Bond by producer Albert R. Broccoli, after Sean Connery left the franchise. Reynolds turned the role down, saying "An American can't play James Bond. It just can't be done." Broccoli offered the role to another non-Brit, Australian George Lazenby. In 1973, Reynolds released the album Ask Me What I Am. He would also sing with Dolly Parton in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
Reynolds appeared on ABC's The American Sportsman hosted by outdoors journalist Grits Gresham, who took celebrities on hunting, fishing, and shooting trips around the world.
In 1977, director and producer George Lucas offered Reynolds the part of Han Solo in the first film of the Star Wars franchise. Reynolds declined - at which point Lucas offered the part to Nick Nolte, who also declined, so Lucas asked Harrison Ford. In 1977, Burt starred in the popular movie Smokey and the Bandit alongside Jerry Reed, Jackie Gleason (as the sheriff) and Sally Field.
On March 15, 1978, Reynolds earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in the same year built a dinner theatre in Jupiter, Florida. His celebrity was such that he drew not only big-name stars to appear in productions but sell-out audiences as well. He sold the venue in the early 1990s, but a museum highlighting his career still operates nearby.
In the 1980s, after the hugely successful Smokey and the Bandit and its sequels, he became typecast in similar, less well-done and less successful movies. One of his more acclaimed roles during this period was in Michael Crichton's Physical Evidence (1989). Later in the early 70's, Reynolds was named Mustache of the Year from the Academy Awards. He had his hand at producing two television shows with friend Bert Convy. One in 1987 was called Win, Lose or Draw. He appeared as a celebrity gameplayer in the inaugural week of the show along with Justine Bateman, Debbie Reynolds and Loretta Swit. The set of Win, Lose or Draw was modeled after Reynolds' living room. Another show Burt and Bert produced was titled 3rd Degree, and like on Win, Lose, or Draw, Burt appeared on a few episodes as a panelist. That show aired from 1989-90.
In 1989 he starred in a short-lived detective drama B.L. Stryker, one of the rotating elements of the ABC Mystery Movie.
During the first half of the 1990s, he was the star of the CBS television series Evening Shade, for which he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (1991).
Despite much success, Reynolds' finances were bad, due in part to an extravagant lifestyle, a messy divorce from Loni Anderson (see below), and failed investments in some Florida restaurant chains; consequently, in 1996, Reynolds filed for bankruptcy. The filing was under Chapter 11, from which Reynolds emerged two years later.
In 1996, Reynolds sought a comeback in the movie Striptease with an over-the-top performance as a sex-obsessed congressman. The film was a box-office success, though generally panned by critics. According to Reynolds, his performance was inspired by politicians he met through his father, who had been a police chief. The following year he appeared in the critically acclaimed Boogie Nights, and his career was back on track. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance and took home a Golden Globe Award.
In 1997 Reynolds co-authored the children's book Barkley Unleashed A Pirate a "whimsical tale that illustrates the importance of perseverance, the wonders of friendship, and the power of imagination".
In early 2000, he created and toured Burt Reynolds' One-Man Show. In 2002, he lent his voice to the character Avery Carrington in the controversial video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City ("Vice City Tourist Guide" p. 23).
In 2005, he co-starred in a remake of The Longest Yard, with Adam Sandler who played the role of Paul Crewe, which had been Reynolds' role in the 1974 original. This time around, Reynolds took on the role of Nate Scarborough. His role in the remake saw him receive a Razzie Award nomination for "Worst Supporting Actor". He also appeared in a movie version of the popular 1980s TV series The Dukes of Hazzard, as Boss Hogg.
He starred in the audio book version of The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook. In May 2006, Reynolds began appearing in Miller Lite beer commercials. In 2007 at the World Stuntman Awards he was awarded the Taurus Lifetime Achievement Award. While presenting him with the award Arnold Schwarzenegger referred to him as the greatest of the great.
In July 2010, he guest-starred as an ex-CIA agent being hunted down by a team of Russian assassins who wanted to kidnap, interrogate, then kill him, on USA's Burn Notice. Part of this role depicted absent-mindedness which was noted in the closing scene as "not only being when he drank" implying his character suffered from some form of memory disability or disease.
In January 2012 Reynolds had a guest-starring role as himself in an episode of the animated FX TV show Archer. The episode titled "The Man from Jupiter" features Reynolds helping Archer (who idolizes him) take on a team of Cuban hitmen.
He also appears as himself in Saints Row: The Third as the mayor of Steelport.
At various points in his life, Reynolds has been romantically involved with Inger Stevens, Tammy Wynette, Lucie Arnaz, Adrienne Barbeau, Susan Clark, Sally Field, Lorna Luft, Tawny Little, Pam Seals, Dinah Shore and Chris Evert. His relationship with Shore garnered particular attention given the fact she was 20 years his senior. Reynolds was married to actress/comedienne Judy Carne from 1963 to 1965, and actress Loni Anderson from 1988 to 1993, with whom he adopted a son, Quinton Anderson Reynolds (born August 31, 1988).E! Online reported that he dated Kate Edelman Johnson from 2003 to 2005.
In the late 1970s Reynolds opened "Burt's Place", a restaurant/nightclub in the Omni International Hotel in the Hotel District of downtown Atlanta, Georgia.
Sports team owner:
In 1982, Reynolds became a co-owner of the Tampa Bay Bandits, a professional American football team in the USFL whose nickname was inspired by his Smokey and the Bandit movies. Reynolds also co-owned a NASCAR Winston Cup team, Mach 1 Racing, with Hal Needham, which ran the #33 Skoal Bandit car, with driver Harry Gant.
Reynolds underwent back surgery in May 2009, and a quintuple heart bypass in February 2010.
On August 16, 2011, Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation filed foreclosure papers in Martin County, claiming Reynolds owed $1.2 million on his Hobe Sound, Florida, home.
NBC television series regular
Tad Stuart in the episode "The Stranger"
CBS television guest appearance
Quint Asper, the blacksmith
CBS series regular
The Twilight Zone
Episode "The Bard"
Hooper as Hooper
Fade-In aka The Iron Cowboy
Yaqui Joe Herrera
Run, Simon, Run
Det. Steve Carella
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)
Sperm Switchboard Chief
The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing
Longest Yard, TheThe Longest Yard
Nominated -- Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
At Long Last Love
Michael Oliver Pritchard III
W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings
Lieutenant Phil Gaines
also executive producer
Smokey and the Bandit
Bo 'Bandit' Darville
Billy Clyde Puckett
End, TheThe End
Wendell Sonny Lawson
Nominated -- Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Smokey and the Bandit II
Bo 'Bandit' Darville
Cannonball Run, TheThe Cannonball Run
Sgt. Tom Sharky
Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, TheThe Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd
Man Who Loved Women, TheThe Man Who Loved Women
Cannonball Run II
Southern Voices, American Dreams
Ernest "Stick" Stickley
Uphill All the Way
The Golden Girls
John L. Sullivan IV
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Charlie B. Barkin
voice and song performer
Colonel Frank Parker
Player, TheThe Player
Cop and a Half
Razzie Award for Worst Actor
Century of Cinema, AA Century of Cinema
Maddening, TheThe Maddening
Frankenstein and Me
Congressman David Dilbeck
Mad Dog Time
"Wacky" Jacky Jackson
The Cherokee Kid
Otter Bob the mountain man
Meet Wally Sparks
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast, Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture, Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor, New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor, Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor,
Nominated -- Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor,
Nominated -- BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role,
Nominated -- Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture,
Nominated -- Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Jerome "Raven" Katz
Det. Logan McQueen
Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms
Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business
Hunter's Moon, TheThe Hunter's Moon
Big City Blues
Judge Walter Burns
Crew, TheThe Crew
Joey "Bats" Pistella
Last Producer, TheThe Last Producer
Hollywood Sign, TheThe Hollywood Sign
Auf Herz und Nieren
Special Guest Star, "Improbable"
Time of the Wolf
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Video game voice
John "Chill" McKay
Hallmark Channel film TV
Librarians, TheThe Librarians
4th and Life
Gumball 3000: The Movie
Without a Paddle
Longest Yard, TheThe Longest Yard
Coach Nate Scarborough
Dukes of Hazzard, TheThe Dukes of Hazzard
Jefferson Davis 'Boss' Hogg
Legend of Frosty the Snowman
The King of Queens
My Name Is Earl
Cameo role, uncredited
Forget About It
Randy and the Mob
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
Bunch of Amateurs, AA Bunch of Amateurs
Not Another Not Another Movie
Saints Row: The Third
Video game - Plays The Mayor
Fast N' Loud
Awards and other recognition:
1991 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (for Evening Shade)
Golden Globes, USA,
1992 Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical (for Evening Shade)
1997 Best Supporting Actor in a Film (for Boogie Nights)
People's Choice Awards, USA,
1979 Favorite Motion Picture Actor
1979 Favorite All-Around Male Entertainer
1980 Favorite Motion Picture Actor
1982 Favorite Motion Picture Actor
1982 Favorite All-Around Male Entertainer
1983 Favorite Motion Picture Actor
1983 Favorite All-Around Male Entertainer
1984 Favorite Motion Picture Actor (tied with Clint Eastwood)
1991 Favorite Male Performer in a New TV Series
American Movie Awards,
1980 Favorite Film Star - Male
Viewers For Quality Television Awards,
1991 Best Actor in a Quality Comedy Series (for Evening Shade)
Durex Man Of The Year Awards,
Durex Man of the Year 1985
Crystal Reel Awards,
2002 Lifetime Achievement Award
ShoWest Convention, USA,
1998 Supporting Actor of the Year
Golden Boot Awards,
1990 Golden Boot
National Association of Theater Owners,
1978 Male Star of the Year Award
1980 Male Star of the Year Award
1978 Star (for motion pictures) on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6838 Hollywood Blvd.,
1987 Eastman Kodak Second Century Award,
1991 American Cancer Society's Lifetime Achievement Award,
2000 Children at Heart Award,
2003 Atlanta IMAGE Film and Video Award,
2007 Taurus Lifetime Achievement Award,
2007 Best Buddies Canada Lifetime Achievement Award,
"Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial"
Smokey and the Bandit II Soundtrack
Reynolds, Burt. (1994) My Life. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 0-7868-6130-4,
Anderson, Loni. (1997) My Life in High Heels. Avon Books. ISBN 978-0-380-72854-1