Monday, February 11, 2008

Burt Reynolds

Burton Leon Reynolds, Jr. (born February 11, 1936) is an Oscar-nominated Emmy Award-winning American actor. Some of his memorable roles include Lewis Medlock in Deliverance, Paul Crewe in the original version of The Longest Yard, Bo 'Bandit' Darville in Smokey and the Bandit, J.J. McClure in The Cannonball Run and Jack Horner in Boogie Nights.

Burt is one of America's most recognizable film and television personalities. With more than 90 feature film and 300 television episode credits, he was the number-one box-office attraction for five straight years (1978-82).

At various points in his life, Reynolds was romantically involved with Dinah Shore, Sally Field, 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. E! Online reports that he dated Kate Edelman Johnson from 2003 to 2005.

Year Film Role Notes
1961 Angel Baby Hoke Adams First Film
Armored Command Skee
1965 Operation C.I.A. Mark Andrews
1966 Navajo Joe Joe
1969 100 Rifles Yaqui Joe Herrera
Sam Whiskey Sam Whiskey
Impasse Pat Morrison
Shark! Caine
1970 Skullduggery Douglas Temple
1972 Deliverance Lewis Medlock
Fuzz Det. Steve Carella
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) Sperm Switchboard Chief cameo role
1973 Shamus Shamus McCoy
White Lightning Gator McKlusky
The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing Jay Grobart
1974 The Longest Yard Paul Crewe
1975 At Long Last Love Michael Oliver Pritchard III
W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings W.W. Bright
Lucky Lady Walker Ellis song performer
Hustle Lieutenant Phil Gaines also executive producer
1976 Silent Movie himself cameo role
Gator Gator McKlusky also director
Nickelodeon Buck Greenway
1977 Smokey and the Bandit Bo 'Bandit' Darville
Semi-Tough Billy Clyde Puckett
1978 The End Wendell Sonny Lawson also director
Hooper Sonny Hooper also producer
1979 Starting Over Phil Potter
1980 Rough Cut Jack Rhodes
Smokey and the Bandit II Bo 'Bandit' Darville
1981 The Cannonball Run J.J. McClure
Paternity Buddy Evans
Sharky's Machine Sgt. Tom Sharky also director
1982 The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd song performer
Best Friends Richard Babson
1983 Stroker Ace Stroker Ace
Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 The Real Bandit/ Bo 'Bandit' Darville cameo role
The Man Who Loved Women David Fowler
1984 Cannonball Run II J.J. McClure
City Heat Mike Murphy
1985 Southern Voices, American Dreams himself documentary
Stick Ernest 'Stick' Stickley also director
1986 Uphill All the Way himself cameo role
Sherman's March himself documentary
Heat Mex
1987 Malone Richard Malone
1988 Rent-A-Cop Tony Church
Switching Channels John L. Sullivan IV
1989 Physical Evidence Joe Paris
Breaking In Ernie Mullins
All Dogs Go to Heaven Charlie B. Barkin voice and song performer
1990 Modern Love Colonel Frank Parker
1992 The Player himself cameo role
1993 Cop and a Half Nick McKenna
1994 A Century of Cinema himself documentary
1995 The Maddening Roy Scudder
1996 Frankenstein and Me Les Williams
Citizen Ruth Blaine Gibbons
Striptease Congressman David Dilbeck
Mad Dog Time 'Wacky' Jacky Jackson
1997 Meet Wally Sparks Lenny Spencer
Bean General Newton
Boogie Nights Jack Horner
1998 Crazy Six Dakota
1999 Waterproof Eli Zeal
The Hunter's Moon Clayton Samuels
Pups Daniel Bender
Big City Blues Connor co-producer
Stringer Wolko
Mystery, Alaska Judge Walter Burns
2000 The Crew Joey 'Bats' Pistella
The Last Producer Sonny Wexler also director
2001 Driven Carl Henry
Tempted Charlie LeBlanc
Hotel Flamenco Manager
The Hollywood Sign Kage Mulligan
Auf Herz und Nieren Banko German film
2002 Snapshots Larry Goldberg
Time of the Wolf Archie McGregor
2003 The Librarians Irish
4th and Life Narrator documentary
Gumball 3000: The Movie himself voice
2004 Without a Paddle Del Knox
2005 The Longest Yard Coach Nate Scarborough
The Dukes of Hazzard Jefferson Davis 'Boss' Hogg
Legend of Frosty the Snowman Narrator voice
2006 Cloud 9 Billy Cole
End Game General Montgomery
Forget About It Sam LeFleur
Grilled Goldbluth
Broken Bridges Jake Delton
2007 Deal ?
Randy and the Mob Elmore Culpepper
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale King Konreid
2008 Delgo Delgo's Father voice
Announced Wait For Me
Small Town Saturday Night Charlie
Old Soldiers
Instant Karma voice

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 be cast in Tea and Sympathy at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. Reynolds received favorable reviews for his performance in Tea and Sympathy. Reynolds then 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 Josh Logan for Reynolds. The movie was Sayonara, and Reynolds was told he couldn't 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 worked 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, in the 1950s series, Riverboat, and went on to appear in a number of other shows, including a role as blacksmith Quint Asper on Gunsmoke from 1962 to 1965.

His film debut was in 1961, in the movie 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. 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 he 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." In 1973, he released the album Ask Me What I Am. He would also sing in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

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.

In the 1980s, after Smokey and the Bandit, he became typecast in similar, less well-done and less successful movies. Comedian and actor Robert Wuhl, in a standup act in the late 80s, said that "Burt Reynolds makes so many bad movies, when someone else makes a bad movie Burt gets a royalty!" He had his hand at producing a television show with friend Bert Convy in 1987, Win, Lose or Draw. He even appeared as a celebrity gameplayer in a few episodes of the show.

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). Reynolds started a comeback with the movie Striptease in 1996, and the critically acclaimed Boogie Nights, in 1997, put his career back on track. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Boogie Nights and won a Golden Globe Award for the movie. He was considered a front-runner for the Supporting Oscar, but ultimately lost to Robin Williams, who won it for his role in Good Will Hunting.

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.

In 2005, he co-starred in two remakes: the first released was of The Longest Yard, this time with Adam Sandler playing the role of Paul Crewe, the role Reynolds had played in the 1974 original. This time around, Reynolds took on the role of Nate Scarborough. The second was of the hit 1980s TV series The Dukes of Hazzard, as Boss Hogg.

He starred in the audio book version of The Worst Case Scenario 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.

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