The trials and tribulations of Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds is known for a lot of things: being a ladies man, being an award-winning actor, his not too delicate words, and his legendary roles in Hollywood. Reynolds has been famously linked to some of the most beautiful women of his time, in addition to being talked about daily for his roles in films like Boogie Nights, The Longest Yard, and Smokey and the Bandit. There’s a lot to say about Burt, and we are here to spill the beans about one of our favorite actors.

His most famous relationships were with actresses Sally Field (our personal favorite of his significant others, and Burt’s favorite it seems as well), Judy Carne and Loni Anderson. Loni was a love-hate relationship with Burt and his fans, since she left the man with nothing more than the kitchen sink upon their divorce. The best thing to come out of his relationships was his son Quinton, whom he adopted with Loni. Burt is now in his early ’80s and has had a career spanning over 60 years. His Hollywood status is set to iconic and there is more than enough evidence that he is a good actor who was as talented as he was dashing.

Reynolds had a lot of highs during his career and a lot of lows. Some of those lows include having an incident where a metal chair was thrown directly at his face, breaking his jaw and having it need significant repair that lead to weight loss for lack of eating and a severe pain killers addiction. Reynolds has also undergone back surgery and a quintuple heart bypass between 2009 and 2010. We are happy to report that he is as good as new today and is still enjoying himself in the spotlight. After all, he is Burt Reynolds.


Burt Reynolds is the son of Burton and Fern Reynolds (he clearly got his name from his father). Burt has stated that he had a complex relationship with both of his parents, especially with his father. Mom Fern was the one who made Burt a sensitive soul, advising him to keep tabs on his emotions and follow his heart no matter what. His father, however, was the polar opposite and was a stiff upper lip kind of parent who showed very little emotion towards his child.


Burt was born in Lansing, Michigan but moved to Riviera Beach, Florida when he was just ten years old. As a high schooler, Burt was active on the school’s football team – he played fullback. Burt was said to have been a very talented football player, so much so that he got himself several university scholarships for his athletic abilities. Out of the schools he was offered, he decided to go to Florida State University. It was there that he played halfback and was in the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.


Throughout most of his years in college, from 1954 through 1957, Burt played football as a fullback. Sadly, during his junior year, he suffered several injuries that had him sidelined. Football was never off the plate totally, though. Burt got to pretend to be a professional plater as a part of the film The Longest Yard in 1974. It was in that film that he played the role of a quarterback. Once football was no longer in the cards for him in college, Burt listened to his father and became a parole officer.


Despite having a stable job as a parole officer, Burt knew that he was destined for greatness and that his days in the shade were numbered. It was during his time at Palm Beach Junior College that Burt got the advice that would change his life. His English professor, Watson B. Duncan III told Burt that if he knew what was good for him he would try out for the play that he was producing. Burt listened and landed the lead!

Cosmo spread

Burt regrets ever doing this spread, but it will be with us forever. In 1972, Burt agreed to pose nude for Cosmopolitan magazine. That famous spread of Burt laying on his side with a cigarette in his mouth looking all happy is an image that will haunt him for decades. He decided to pose for the magazine after he wrapped filming on Deliverance and thought it would be a good idea. The public absolutely loved it as the magazine sold over one million copies of the issue.

Rejecting roles

For a smart guy, Burt has made some dumb moves. There were two iconic roles that Burt turned down that could have made his career into an even more legendary one. The first role he turned down was for the then-upcoming film Star Wars, he was offered the role of Han Solo and turned it down! The second film, or film franchise, was the 007 James Bond films. He was offered the role of James Bond himself but decided it wasn’t for him because he couldn’t imagine an American pulling that role off after Sean Connery.

Chris Evert

There was a time when Burt thought the best mate for him would be someone in the athletic field. Burt ended up dating professional tennis player Chris Evert. The footballer and the tennis star were linked for a while and seemed to be really happy. Evert was married three times in her life but said that Burt was unlike anyone she has ever met. “If Burt likes you, he really takes good care of you. Successful women aren’t a threat to him, and I think that’s what attracted me to him.”


Adding fuel to his already wild fire, Burt came out with a memoir about his life. In that memoir, that was published in 2015, he reveals a lot of details about his life that no one knew and were extremely controversial. Throughout his 60 years in show business, Burt explains what its like to go through the ups and downs of being in the spotlight, his marriages, and financial situations. Oh, he also addresses those ugly rumors about him.

Dinah Shore

Dinah Shore was well-known in the 1940s as a singer and actress. Burt met her in 1970 when the duo was on a talk show on the same episode. Burt immediately took to Dinah, despite the fact that she was 20 years older than him (he was 35 at the time). Burt spoke about his relationship with Dinah, “Id never met anyone like her. I realized there was a big age gap between us but it didn’t make the slightest difference. I was already in love with her…” Dinah and Burt were together for four years. The relationship ended because Burt wanted children and Dinah was unable.


Yes, Burt Reynolds has a musical album. It was back in 1973 that Burt thought it would be a good idea for him to make another shift in his career and add singer to his title. His album, Ask Me What I Am, actually sold well! For those who bought the album, they would also get a double-sized poster of Burt in his then-signature jumpsuit and cowboy hat. If you feel like listening to his music, it’s available on Amazon for your hearing pleasure.

Dolly Parton

Burt and Dolly together is a match made in television heaven! The two starred in a film together in 1982, titled The Best Little **** House in Texas. We had to censor the name since it’s entirely inappropriate, but it sure did make us laugh. The film was a motion picture version of a musical of the same name. Dolly couldn’t name the film herself so she used to call it The Best Little Chicken House in Texas. Cute, Dolly, real cute.


Back before Burt was the famous man he would become, he shared a college dorm room with Lee Corso, the broadcaster, ESPN analyst and former coach at the University of Louisville. They got along very well in college, each of them eventually going their own separate ways – one into the world of acting and Hollywood and the other into the world of sports. Lee was also a roommate to another famous individual – Ron Fraser, the former coach of the University of Miami baseball team.

Sally Field

The one that got away. Burt met Sally on the set of Smokey and the Bandit in 1977. As soon as the two met they couldn’t break away from each other. Their chemistry was instantaneous and lead to a very serious relationship. The couple would go on to star in four films together during their time as a couple. The adorable couple was together for five years, during which time Burt said that he thought that Sally was one of the most underrated actresses of her time.


When we say that she was the one that got away, we mean that that is exactly what Burt thought. In an interview, he said, “She was the love of my life and I screwed the relationship up. That sense of loss never goes away.” In his 2015 memoir, Burt also goes into detail as to how much regret he feels. He wrote that he continues to miss her and follow her career. Both Sally and Burt ended up marrying other people but at this point in time are back to being single.

Loni Anderson

Burt met Loni Anderson when the two co-starred in Stroker Ice, their 1983 comedy. The film was a horrible mess but it had the two meet and fall in love. Loni was known back then for her role in WKRP in Cincinnati. In the ’80s, Loni and Burt were the couple to be. As golden as they were, the marriage didn’t last very long and the two were on the path to divorce in 1993. Burt has said in retrospect that he shouldn’t have married Loni and that it was a mistake.


Burt knew that marrying Loni was a mistake even before he actually did the deed. On his way to the church with his best man, he recalls, “On the way to the ceremony, my best man, the American football player Vic Prinzi, said: ‘Do you really want to do this?…No, I don’t.'” He goes on to say that he always thought that Loni was a beautiful woman but that she was not the woman he was meant to spend the rest of his life with.

Baby boy

While the couple wasn’t together for too long, they did manage to produce a son. Burt and Loni adopted a baby boy who they named Quinton Anderson Reynolds. Quinton is the apple of his parents eye and is currently in the film industry himself. Unlike both his parents, he isn’t in front of the screen but behind it. He is both an assistant on set as well as a camera operator.


Burt’s divorce from Loni was harder than he ever thought it would be. Loni would end up leaving Burt almost totally broke. He wrote, “She bought everything in triplicate, from every day dresses to jewelry to china and linens…I gave her a platinum American Express card with a $45,000 credit limit. She maxed it out in half an hour.” It took Burt until he was 79 years old to pay the final amount on his divorce settlement.

Judy Carne

Throwing it back for a moment, before the big love and big mess with Loni, Burt was married to fellow actress Judy Carne. The two married in 1963 and remained married for just two years. Judy went on to have a semi-successful career that was ruined by a vicious addiction to prescription medication as well as a terrible car accident she was in. Judy passed away in 2015 at 76 years of age.

Farrah Fawcett

Some time between Judy and Loni, there was Farrah. Burt and Farrah carried on with a pretty steamy relationship since meeting on the set of The Cannonball Run in 1981. The two were in the height of their careers and looked their very best. There must be a rule that two beautiful star just have to get together when they are that good looking and talented.

Miko Mayama

Another lady that was in Burt’s life was Miko Mayama. Burt and Miko were living together back in 1969 after they co-starred in the film Impasse. It was also that year that Burt met and instantly fell in love with Dinah Shore. After meeting Dinah, he came home to Miko and told her he had fallen in love with Dinah. Burt was apologetic about the whole thing since he really didn’t plan for this to happen. He gave Miko their beach house, a $500 a week stipend and a convertible Cadillac.

Plastic surgery

Let’s be honest, Burt must have had something done to his face. Over the years it was rumored that he had some facial work done. The only kind of plastic surgery Burt admits to is surgery on his eyes and reconstruction to his jaw after a stunt gone wrong. It was due to his eye surgery that he began having an addiction to pain killers that he was given to assist in his recovery. While we think he must have also had a face lift, he says that his skin is the way it is because of genetics. Sure.

Paul Thomas Anderson

Boogie Nights director Paul Thomas Anderson and Burt Reynolds did not get along. The two had very different and polar opposite personalities that created a lot of friction on set. Burt thought he knew what he wanted and Paul didn’t agree or go along with it. Anderson went as far as to say that But was the way he was because, “I think mostly because he was young and full of himself.”


Clashed continued to occur between Burt and Paul. The issues got so bad that there were those who thought a physical fight would erupt. “Burt got so frustrated he pulled Paul outside into the backyard and started yelling at him, like a father, you know?… All of a sudden we saw fists flying. We saw some fists flying from Burt Reynolds.” This is the kind of friction that happens between a big Hollywood icon and a young director.


In regards to the 1972 film Deliverance that Burt starred in alongside Ned Beatty, Jon Voight, and Ronny Cox, he said, “They keep talking about a remake, but I don’t think you could find four actors crazy enough to do it…Not by any stretch of the imagination were we white water experts. We’d quit for the day and come back and practice…I have to admit that, in spite of the danger, or maybe because of the danger, it was the most fun I ever had.”

Evening Shade

From 1990 to 1994, Burt was a part of a television show called Evening Shade. On the show, Burt’s character was a former pro-football player. It brought him back to his athletic roots and he loved it. Upon hearing that the show was going to be cancelled, Burt tried to keep himself as composed as possible. “I am not by any means depressed…I had four great years, which I’m very, very proud of. Hopefully, the people that have offered me major movies to direct, I can get one of those or…I can play Tom Cruise’s father.”

Net worth

You would think someone such as Burt Reynolds would be totally loaded with money, right? Well, wrong. Burt is actually worth a measly $5 million after all is said and done. He was once worth a lot more than he is today, thanks to leading roles in major motion pictures, television shows, and other endorsements, but his divorce from Loni took a lot of his money and the parts eventually dried up.

Marlon Brando

When Burt went in to audition for the film Sayonara, he was immediately rejected for the part due to the fact that he looked too much like Marlon Brando. While that would constitute a major compliment in our books, this is probably the only instance ever that it would be considered a bad thing. It was this rejection that pushed Burt to do some stage work. Looking at this image here makes us realize that the two really did look alike!

Brando hate

You know who else didn’t like Burt? Marlon Brando. Other than looking alike, Brando didn’t like Burt because, “He is the epitome of something that makes me want to throw up … He is the epitome of everything that is disgusting about the thespian … He worships at the temple of his own narcissism.” He went so far as to say that if Burt got the part in the 1972 film The Godfather, then he would drop out.

Dancing king

At one point, Burt Reynolds was the owner and operator of a nightclub, something we would definitely expect from this ladies man. This was back in the 1970s when disco was at its height, and the person with the biggest mustache was the one who went the farthest. Named Burt’s Place, the club was located out by the Omni International Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Sadly, Burt had to close the club’s doors after just a year.

As long as it works

One of the best films of all time, Deliverance was filmed in 1972, becoming one of the biggest moneymakers in theatres that year. Two of hollywood’s biggest stars reprised roles in this movie – Jon Voight as Ed Gentry, and of course Burt Reynolds as Lewis Medlock. While Voight was a method actor, Burt just rolled with it. For instance, when Voight needed to appear out of breath, he would run. When Reynolds needed to appear out of breath, he would spray water on himself and pretend.

Mixed lineage

Burt Reynolds has been acting for well over half a century, so it is no wonder that he has become such a household name. However, another Reynolds has been thrust into the spotlight as of late – Ryan Reynolds. Despite the same last name, it sadly appears that they two are not related. But that did not stop Ryan from doing a masterful reprise of Burt Reynolds’s nude Cosmo pose while filming Deadpool.

Welch’s disdain for Reynolds

Despite the fact that 70’s stunners Raquel Welch and Burt Reynolds acted and starred in many of the same films, it turns out that Welch could not stand Reynolds. In fact, while filming police comedy Fuzz, Welch refused to be in any shots with Reynolds, having her body double stand in for her instead. She would wait by the phone in her dressing room for word that Reynolds had left the set before going out to do her lines.

Losing his OJ endorsement

Burt Reynolds was tapped by the Florida Citrus Commission to advertise freshly squeezed Florida orange juice. He was a well known actor and considered to be a wholesome movie star, and the Commission wanted someone that people looked up to who could push their product. However, after he divorced Loni Anderson, he got dropped by the Commission as divorce was considered unwholesome. Reynolds has since been quoted as saying “I don’t know why they think divorced people don’t drink orange juice.”

Actor by happenstance

Burt Reynolds did not exactly set out to be an actor, studying for a degree in business while he was at Florida State University. However, it was while he was taking an elective drama course his senior year of college that he really got into acting. He was encouraged by his drama professor to get into the industry, and he hasn’t looked back since. He now is a worldwide phenomenon, and even has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame.

College football star

Before his famous movie star days, Burt Reynolds was known throughout America for something else entirely – college football. He was a fullback on the team, and ran for over 145 yards. He was a great athlete, but sadly, his football career was cut short by an injury resulting from a car accident his sophomore year. Reynolds was inducted into the Florida State University Hall of Fame in 1977.

The flop

When City Heat was coming out in 1984, the film starred two of Hollywood’s biggest stars at the time – Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood. City Heat, directed by Richard Benjamin sadly ended up flopping. Hard. The movie cost the production studios $25 million to make and produce, while the movie itself only ended up grossing $38.3 million. While this does not sound so horrible, the fact that it was billed to be the hit of 1984 makes this takeaway disappointing.

Injury on set

The movie City Heat was a huge mess regardless of the total gross after the fact. It was also a dangerous set to be on in general. Reynolds actually had his jaw shattered when a metal chair on set hit him in the face. He ended up getting a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) due to the injury, and couldn’t eat solid foods for months. Due to his new all liquid diet, Reynolds lost over 40 lbs of weight.

Burt’s park

A lot of celebrities have roads or highways named after them in their hometown or home state. However, Burt Reynolds has something much different – he has a 35 acre park named after him. The Burt Reynolds Park, located in Jupiter, Florida, is actually an entire barrier island with access to the ocean, trees, and picnic areas. There are even sand volleyball courts.

Selling everything

After his divorce from Loni Anderson, Burt Reynolds needed to make some money, and fast. He had lost a lot of money in the seemingly endless divorce proceedings, and needed some money, and fast. So, he put up a whole lot of his own personal memorabilia from his various movies, including his much sought after Trans Am from Smokey and the Bandit, and even the Golden Globe he won for Boogie Nights.

Losing watch and his love

One of the most valuable items that Burt Reynolds put on sale during his massive celebrity memorabilia auction was an 18 karat gold watch which was gifted to him by actress Sally Field. Not only is this watch worth a lot of money, but Reynolds has admitted on more than one occasion that Field was the love of his life, and that he should have never broken up with her.

No longer the ugly duckling

Sally Field and Burt Reynolds met each other on the set of Smokey and the Bandit, where she played the part of the supposedly unattractive “Frog.” She was considered ugly by movie producers due to the “ugly girl” role she reprised in the film Sybil. However, she knew that Frog would be the love interest of hearthrob Burt Reynolds, and after Smokey and the Bandit, she would never be cast as the “ugly girl” role again.

Death of a friend

When Hal Needham passed away it hit Burt Reynolds really hard. Needham was Reynolds’s good friend for years, had directed Smokey and the Bandit, and even lived in Reynolds’s pool house for more than 12 years. When Needham first wrote the script for Smokey and the Bandit, Reynolds was completely on board and even offered to star in the film should Needham be able to get the funds. Good thing Needham succeeded.

A star in the West

Burt Reynolds was honored at the Wild West Fest in Kansas in 2015 and even given his own section in the Wild West Walk of Fame. Not many people remember, but Burt Reynolds played the part of Quint in the hit Western TV show Gunsmoke. He reprised the role from 1962 until 1965, and had a speaking role in 50 episodes of the show. But that is just a blip in time for a show which was on the air for 20 years.


One day while going to a class sponsored by his studio, Burt Reynolds happened to be walking alongside Marilyn Monroe. He realized that no one seemed to notice that they were walking through the studio, and so he mentioned something to Monroe. Monroe then laughed, changed her posture, changed the gait of her walk, and all of a sudden, they were mobbed by fans. Reynolds was in awe by the experience.

A beautiful friendship

It turns out that country singer Jerry Reed and Burt Reynolds were a lot closer than a lot of people thought. They bother performed in many of the same films together, such as W.W., the Dixie Dance Kings, High Ballin, and several others. The two met when they happened to be in Nashville, TN at the same time, and their friendship started to blossom. The two then starred together in the Smokey and the Bandit film franchise.

A beef with Charlie Sheen

Burt Reynolds has had to deal with accusations that he has HIV-positive, so he know how hard it is to deal with. However, he caused quite an uproar when, while being interviewed on a British Talk Show, he said that Charlie Sheen deserved being HIV-positive. Reynolds continued on his diatribe, adding that while Martin Sheen is a fine man, Reynolds did not feel the least bit bad for Charlie’s predicament.

A bad housing market

However, despite everything, the divorce took a financial toll on Burt Reynolds, and he allegedly even filed for bankruptcy. One of the many possessions he tried to sell was his mansion in Jupiter, FL. The original asking price was $15 million when it went up on the market in 2006. However, with the housing crisis, he ended up selling it for only $5 million in 2010. The mansion came equipped with a pool, two bedroom guesthouse, and even a movie theatre.

25 awards

Burt Reynolds has been nominated for over 25 different awards throughout his illustrious career. He won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for Boogie Nights (an award he later sold), and got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978. He has been in more than 50 different movies and television series, and even opened up a Celebrity Dinner Theatre franchise, something which he later sold.

Win, Lose, or Draw

Burt Reynolds was a producer on a mildly successful TV game show called Win, Lose, or Draw. The show, which ran from 1987 up until 1990, was tapes at the CBS Television City studios. Burt did not realize how much of his life would need to be devoted to this side project, and quickly realized that it was keeping him from other pursuits. But perhaps most interestingly, the set of the show was modelled after Burt’s own living room.


Everyone loves Burt Reynolds, and it was for that reason that he was able to guest star on so many shows we know and love, including Beverly Hills 90210. He played himself in an episode dating back to 1993 where he had a meet and greet with the characters at the Peach Pit. The episode, called She Came in Through the Bathroom Window was shot when Reynolds’s own television show Evening Shade was at it’s zenith.

Bad businessman

Burt Reynolds is not one known for his business acumen. In fact, the majority of ventures he tried to put money in would go belly up in a matter of months or years. One of these failed business ventures was a restaurant chain called Daisey’s Diner, which he opened up with his buddy, Buddy Killen. The two spent way too much way too quickly, and they ended up losing a combined $20 million.

Boogie all night long

Burt Reynolds was deep in the doldrums and not doing all that well financially when he was asked to play the role of Jack Horner in the film Boogie Nights. The movie, which came out in 1997, was one of Burt Reynolds’s big breaks after a slow downwards financial spiral. And yet he almost did not take the part had to be asked by the film’s producer eight times before he finally agreed to his Oscar winning role.