The Real Reason You Don’t Hear From Burt Reynolds Anymore


With acclaimed roles in Deliverance and Smokey
and the Bandit, Burt Reynolds’s swagger and charm made him a huge star in the ’70s. But despite his box-office clout and sex symbol
status, the once-great star seems to have faded away. So, why aren’t we seeing more from Burt Reynolds? Becoming a star Reynolds began his career in the late ’50s
and worked steadily in small TV roles through the ’60s, including an episode of The Twilight
Zone, playing a cocky actor who gets punched in the face by a time-traveling Shakespeare. “What have I got against this personage,
Stanislavsky? You!” But in 1972, Deliverance gave Reynolds his
first major movie role. However, just before the film was released,
Reynolds was invited to pose nude for Cosmopolitan. It was the first nude male centerfold in a
major magazine, and he figured people would look at and laugh and forget about it a few
days later. But instead of being a laugh riot, it made
Reynolds the sex symbol of the ’70s. It also diminished his serious acting accomplishments
in Deliverance. “I was very young and very stupid, and it
did not change my career to the better.” Reynolds had become a huge star, but he was
never really taken seriously, which would haunt him for the rest of his career. A few bad choices Reynolds’ signature ‘stache and cocky smile
won over male and female fans alike through the ’70s, but by the ’80s, his movies were
already getting less critical acclaim. 1981’s The Cannonball Run featured an all-star
cast and made a lot of money — but critics weren’t pleased. Also released in 1981 was the well-reviewed
drama Sharky’s Machine, which had Reynolds as its star. But he squandered those critical gains by
following that up with Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, the forgettable Best Friends, and
the horribly reviewed Stroker Ace. By the time 1984 rolled around, Reynolds returned
for Cannonball Run II, which got even worse reviews and made $44 million less than the
original. By sticking to a run of mediocre comedies,
Reynolds wasn’t being taken seriously, and he could only charm audiences for so long. And if the first half of the ’80s seemed troublesome
for Reynolds, the second half only got worse. Reynolds’ work included a cameo in the bizarre
Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 and the terribly-reviewed Rent-A-Cop. Things didn’t get any better from there. Too many refusals Over the years, Reynolds turned down a lot
of roles that would wind up becoming iconic. In an interview with Business Insider, Reynolds
revealed that he could’ve played the first American James Bond, but he felt 007 was a
role only an Englishman could play. And before Harrison Ford took a break from
carpentry to play Han Solo, Reynolds was reportedly offered the role. In the early 1980s, the male lead in Terms
of Endearment was written especially for Reynolds, but the star said no, as he’d already committed
to Stroker Ace. The role went to Jack Nicholson, and Reynolds
regrets his decision even today. Then in 1990, Reynolds reportedly turned down
the starring role in Pretty Woman due to the age gap between himself and Julia Roberts. While these choices didn’t affect his career
at the time, they definitely hurt his legacy. Instead, Reynolds retreated to TV, starring
in sitcoms for much of the late ’80s and early ’90s, appearing as a disembodied voice in
Out of This World and an ex-football star in Evening Shade. He even won his first and only Emmy for his
performance in Evening Shade. Unfortunately, after four seasons, the show
went off the air and Reynolds went back to making bad movies, until 1997. A thwarted comeback In 1997, Reynolds got the comeback role of
a lifetime. And no, it wasn’t in the Mr. Bean movie. “But I love my country. I can’t stand the idea of a bunch of Frenchies
owning America’s greatest painting. Let’s get on with it.” Boogie Nights was the film that made Paul
Thomas Anderson a famous director to watch, and a role in the film gave Reynolds acclaim
that he hadn’t seen in a long time. But despite overwhelming critical praise,
Reynolds didn’t really go anywhere after playing Jack Horner. So why didn’t Boogie Nights work for Reynolds
like Pulp Fiction did for John Travolta? Well, first of all, Reynolds didn’t actually
like Boogie Nights. Reynolds told The Guardian that even though
he’s never seen the movie all of the way through, he still hates it, and that working on it
was a nightmare, mostly citing creative differences with Anderson. Still, Reynolds’ rage also extended to the
cast, and according to his book But Enough About Me, Reynolds almost got in a fist fight
with co-star Thomas Jane. Though the shoot was difficult, Anderson had
no complaints about Reynolds’s performance. He even offered him a role in his next film,
Magnolia, but Reynolds turned it down, saying, “I’d done my picture with Paul Thomas Anderson,
that was enough for me.” Personal problems In addition to his spotty film career, things
were also pretty difficult in Reynolds’s personal life. After marrying actress Loni Anderson in 1988,
the couple divorced in 1993. It was not amicable, and Reynolds called the
marriage, quote, “a really dumb move” while Anderson lobbed accusations of abuse. When the smoke cleared, Reynolds agreed to
pay Anderson a little under $250,000, though he didn’t complete the transaction right away. It took 22 years for Reynolds to complete
his payments. In 1996, the actor filed for bankruptcy, but
was able to keep his large ranch in Florida, which he eventually sold anyhow. By 2014, money was still a problem, so he
held an auction of some of his personal belongings, including props, costumes, and awards from
his films. However, other items he tried to sell seemed
a little more desperate, like his voided credit card. He’s still busy Despite these bumps in the road, Reynolds
is still working — just not always on the big screen. “Burt F—— Reynolds?” “who else could keep this town running? ” In addition to popping up in a few voice roles,
he created the Burt Reynolds Institute, an acting studio in Florida where aspiring stars
can learn from Reynolds himself. Even now, at over 80 years old, Reynolds recently
completed the film Dog Years, and has multiple films set for release in the near future. For a guy who’s been in the business for six
decades, that’s incredibly impressive. Reynolds’ star may not shine as bright today
as it did 40 years ago, but he’s still an icon who’ll always have a place in film history. And a few bedroom walls. Thanks for watching! Click the Looper icon to subscribe to our
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