Every generation has a heartthrob all the ladies go crazy over. People know all of this person’s information, see every movie they are in, and often have posters on their walls with this person on them. Housewives lust after them and men wish they could be them. In the 1970’s, one of the major heartthrobs was Burt Reynold’s. Burt Reynold’s was known for his rugged good looks, abundant chest hair, and tough guy persona.
Reynold’s didn’t start out aspiring to be an actor. Instead, he aspired to be a professional football player. This dream was never meant to be for him. He played college football at Florida State University. In the first game of his sophomore season, he injured his knee. In that same year, he had his spleen removed and was also in a car accident which injured his other knee. His compounded injuries ruined any chance of a football career. So, Reynold’s changed his dream and went to Hollywood instead.
Reynold’s started in theater. In the 1950’s, he had some small screen success in television. While he did his first film in 1961, he did not have a breakout role until 1972 when he played Lewis Medlock in Deliverance. After Deliverance, Reynold’s started in many iconic films like Smokey and the Bandit, The Longest Yard, and Boogie Nights. He even starred alongside Dolly Parton in a musical, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Not only was Reynold’s on the top of his game acting, he also dated some of the most gorgeous Hollywood actresses at that time. Some of these actresses include Goldie Hawn and Farrah Fawcett.
Reynold’s insisted on doing his own movie stunts. Of course, this added more wear and tear to a body that had already had so much damage. Nonetheless, directors knew that having Reynold’s in their movie meant a guaranteed hit, so he continued to be cast.
Reynold’s active lifestyle has caught up with him as he has aged. His football injury, accident injury, and years of doing movie stunts have caused him to live in constant pain. It also has affected his ability to get around. He has recently been seen using a cane while at JFK airport in New York City. He also has had heart issues, and in 2010 had a quintuple bypass.
Reynold’s career has been so fascinating that a movie is coming out that is based on it. “The Last Movie Star” stars Burt Reynold’s and was made to honor his iconic career as an actor. Clips are used from The Longest Yard and Smokey and the Bandit so that Reynolds can have conversations with his younger self as he meditates on his film career and his life.