Morning Man Classic: Burt Reynolds!
Burt Reynolds, king of the box office in the 70s, turns 82 today.
During his hey-day in the 70s and early 80s when he starred in a string of popular movies including Smokey and the Bandit, Hooper, The End, The Cannonball Run, Semi-Tough, The Longest Yard and scored in acclaimed dramas like Deliverance and Starting Over, there was no bigger star in the world – and none sexier!
He was also involved in long-term relationships with Dinah Shore then Sally Field in the 70s and dated Tammy Wynette and Chris Evert for a time.
But by the time of 1982′s Stroker Ace, Burt’s box office appeal began to wane and he had a string of bombs. Married by this time to Loni Anderson, he found more success in television first as B.L. Stryker on ABC then as the star of the CBS sitcom Evening Shade for which he won an Emmy.
But when he split from Anderson, it was ugly and Burt came off very badly in the publicity war between the two.
Another comeback was needed and he found it in his Golden Globe winning performance in 1997′s Boogie Nights which also earned Burt his first Academy Award nomination.
Burt continues to work a lot in projects both big and small, good and bad. Among the standouts are Mystery, Alaska and Without a Paddle. I also thought he was a hoot as Boss Hogg in the 2005 feature film version of The Dukes of Hazzard. Most recently, his movie credits are mostly direct-to-DVD titles.