Was drafted by the Baltimore Colts.
When Francis Ford Coppola decided to make a project about the life of the famous Preston Tucker, he wanted Burt Reynolds to play Tucker. They discussed a lot about the movie and made plans, but the film never got made, until 1988, this time with Jeff Bridges in the role. Burt Reynolds only got Lewis Medlock's role in Deliverance (1972) after the stars who were originally chosen to play the lead, such as Marlon Brando, Henry Fonda and James Stewart declined the part, after they heard about the risks of the Chattooga River.
Adopted a son, Quinton, in 1988.
Engaged to former waitress Pam Seals. [January 1998]
Despised Boogie Nights (1997) so much, he fired his agent immediately after viewing a screening of the film. This was before the critical raves after the New York Film Festival occurred. He was then convinced by Paul Thomas Anderson to promote the film on a radio tour and was further enraged at Anderson's behaviour (constantly not letting Reynolds speak). Reynolds pointedly refused to participate in Anderson's next project, Magnolia (1999).
Attended Florida State University on a football scholarship, but only played in two seasons. He was a star running back. His college football career was ended by a knee injury.
Refused the role that earned Jack Nicholson an Oscar in Terms of Endearment (1983). To this day, Reynolds comments that this was one of his most terrible mistakes. He also refused the role Kevin Kline played in Soapdish (1991), with Sally Field, because his then wife, Loni Anderson, told him that the whole Hollywood would laugh at her, as Reynolds and Field once had a very publicised love affair.
During the mid-1980s, he tried to make a comeback with Heat (1986), written by William Goldman. He hoped the movie, directed by Robert Altman, would mark a new phase in his career. Unfortunately, Altman had an altercation with producer Elliott Kastner and he left the project. The movie ended up being a box office failure.
Is a 1958 graduate of Florida State University.
Mentioned in the theme song of the pilot version (4 Nov 1981) of the 1980s TV hit "The Fall Guy" (1981).
Was the first actor ever asked to guest-host "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962). Prior to Reynolds, only comedians had been invited. His first (?) guest was his ex-wife Judy Carne, whom he hadn't spoken to in over six years after a very bitter divorce.
He bared almost all for a Cosmopolitan centerfold in 1972.
Was seriously involved with actress Inger Stevens shortly before her suicide in 1970. Has to this day respectfully refused to discuss the relationship.
Member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
Had a relationship with Sally Field for many years, but she refused his numerous proposals, and they eventually broke up.
Graduate of Palm Beach High School, Palm Beach, Florida, Class of 1954.
Hit #88 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1980 with the song "Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial", from the film Smokey and the Bandit II (1980).
He had a long love affair with Dinah Shore.
His father was of Irish-Cherokee Indian descent, his mother was of Italian descent.
Was named the #1 top money-making star at the box office in Quigley _Publications' annual poll of movie exhibitors for five consecutive years from 1978 - 1982, equaling the record set by Bing Crosby from 1944 - 1948. Only Tom Cruise, who was named #1 six times between 1986 and 2001, has won more box office crowns. Both Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks also have been #1 five times, but non-consecutively.
Has been named to Quigley Publications' annual Top 10 Poll of Money-Making Stars 12 times, tying him for 10th place with Harrison Ford. John Wayne is #1 on the all-time list, with 25 appearances in the Top 10.
Lost the 1997 Razzie award for Worst Supporting Actor to Marlon Brando by a mere single vote. Reynolds was nominated for his performance in Striptease (1996) and Brando for his role in The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996). The vote was cast by Razzie awards founder John Wilson, who always chooses to vote last.
Though their relationship did not work out, Reyonds still speaks fondly of actress Sally Field and he regards her as having been a positive influence on his life.
Turned down the role of "Han Solo" in Star Wars (1977).
Was director Milos Forman's first choice for the lead in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) but United Artists believed his appeal with average moviegoers might prevent the film from attracting the critical attention they felt was necessary for the film to be a box-office hit. Jack Nicholson was cast instead in the role that won him his first Best Actor Oscar. A decade later, Reynolds was writer-director James L. Brooks' first choice for the role of amorous astronaut "Garrett Breedlove" in Terms of Endearment (1983). This time, Reynolds passed on the project, clearing the way for Nicholson to win his second Oscar, this one for Best Supporting Actor.
Sales of the Chevrolet Camaro increased by 500% after Smokey and the Bandit (1977). Chevrolet was so grateful to Burt Reynolds that they promised him a new Camaro every year in perpetuity. The promise lasted five years. He drove a 1977 Pontiac Trans Am Limited Edition in these movies.
He only got the role of "Lewis Medlock" in Deliverance (1972) after the stars who were originally chosen to play the lead, such as Marlon Brando, Henry Fonda and James Stewart declined the part, after they heard about the risks of the Chatooga River.
The character design of the Comedian/Edward Blake in Alan Moore's graphic novel Watchmen is said to have been based on Reynolds. Reynolds was even considered for the role when the novel was in discussion to be film adapted.
Attended Elizabeth Taylor's "Commitment to Life" fundraiser for AIDS research on 19 September 1985, where Burt Lancaster read Rock Hudson's statement announcing he had been diagnosed with AIDS. At one point Reynolds was booed when he read a telegram of support from President Ronald Reagan. Reynolds summed up the frustration of the lack of AIDS awareness when he angrily said, "If this were a benefit for cancer, reporters wouldn't be asking stupid questions like, 'Why are you here?'.".
Longtime friend of Charles Nelson Reilly.
Early in career appeared as a contestant on "The Dating Game" (1965).
Met one of his heroes, Spencer Tracy, while filming "Riverboat" (1959). Tracy was filming Inherit the Wind (1960) on the same lot and Reynolds used to watch him walk from the set to his trailer everyday. After a while, Tracy finally turned to him and said, "Come on, kid." For the next several weeks the two would meet and talk about sports and, every once in a while, acting.
Like many other celebrities, he is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan.
His numerous achievements have been recognized by being named America's Favorite All Around Motion Picture Actor (People's Choice Award) for a record six consecutive years; the Most Popular Star for five years running; Star of the Year (National Association of Theatre Owners); and # 1 Box Office Star for five years in a row, still an unmatched record. He was recently honored with the 2007 Taurus World Stunt Award for "Lifetime Achievement for an Action Movie Star" and received this special citation from the Republican Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Canadian electronics store Future Shop referred to his Smokey and the Bandit (1977) car and set up as, "the Burt", to demonstrate its 2008 HDTV and sub-woofer; when playing the movie.
Mentioned in Bruce Springsteen's song "Cadillac Ranch".