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Burton Leon Reynolds Jr. was born in Waycross, Georgia, on February 11, 1936. His father was a respected and well-known Fl—rida's chief of the police . Burt tried a career in American football, but he gave up the chance for this career after a car accident that hurt his knee. Reynolds began then to act in theather plays. During the 1960s, he went making his way in Hollywood by television series, until his great chance in the film Deliverance (1972). He posed naked for the central page of the "Cosmopolitan" magazine and he became a box office hit in several films that explored his dexterity in dangerous scenes and his malicious and cynic personality. In 1977, his film Smokey and the Bandit (1977) was well attended and to this today it is one of the most-seen films. He proved his other talents behind the cameras in Sharky's Machine (1981), based on William Diehl's romance, what represented a type of new phase in his career, in which he left the image of good ol'boy and began to make more sophisticated films. During the filming of the movie "City Heat" (1984), beside Clint Eastwood, he was hurt by a chair and he broke his jaw. In 1990, his career won a new breath with the television's series "Evening Shade", but a troubled divorce interfered. Burt Reynolds's big comeback only came in 1998, with the film Boogie Nights (1997) and led to futher big roles.
Loni Anderson (1988 - 1993) (divorced)
Judy Carne (1963 - 1965) (divorced)
Was drafted by the Baltimore Colts
In 1968, Burt Reynolds tested for a role in the horror film Rosemary's Baby (1968), but Roman Polanski ended up casting John Cassavetes for the part.
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 maked plans, but the film never got made, untill 1988, this time with Jeff Bridges with the role. Burt Reynolds only got Lewis Medlock's role in Deliverance (1972) after the stars who were originally choosen to play the lead, such as Marlon Brando, Henry Fonda and 'James Stewart'(qv) declined the part, after they heard about the risks of the Chatooga River.
Adopted a son, Quinton, in 1988
(January 1998) Engaged to former waitress Pam Seals.
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 occured. He was then convinced by Paul Thomas Anderson to promote the film on a radio tour, and was further enraged at Anderson's behavior -- 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 has also refused the part of James Bond, during the seventies, and 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 (Reynolds and Field once had a very publicized love affair).
During the mid-eighties, Burt Reynolds tried to make a comeback with Heat (1985), written by William Goldman. The movie would mark Burt's new phase on his career, and Robert Altman would direct this thriller. Unfortunatelly, Altman had an intercaltion with producer Eliot Kastner and he left the project. The movie ended up being a box office failure.
(on Paul Thomas Anderson): "Most filmmakers today have no sense of the history of our business, but he knows every shot John Ford made. And he doesn't lack for confidence. He really knew which shots he wanted to make. I remember the first shot in Boogie Nights (1997), which is one of the longest shots in history. And I, being the irascible old type I am sometimes, said, 'Have you timed this? Is this longer than Citizen Kane (1941) ?' And he said, 'Oh, yes. It's three seconds longer.'"
(on young filmmakers): "Having done 300 television shows and almost 60 movies, I'm tired of having guys who are younger than some sandwiches I've had, telling me to turn left at the couch. There's no appreciation of actors and no sense of history."
(on Sally Field): "I haven't seen her in 10 years, and I'd like to very much. Because I'd like to tell her in person what I didn't know then. That is, how incredibly unselfish she was in terms of the time she spent with me. You know, inside that little body of hers is one of the strongest people I've ever met. What I didn't ever appreciate enough, until I had Quinton, was what it means to have a child and say to somebody else, 'I'll be with you,' away from my child. And now I know what an incredible gift that was."
(on Bill McKinney, with whom he worked in the drama Deliverance (1972)): "I thought the other guy, Bill McKinney, was a little bent. I used to get up at five in the morning and see him running nude through the golf course while the sprinklers watered the grass. A strange dude, he moved to L.A. after Deliverance (1972) and worked in a lot of pictures of Clint Eastwood. He always played sickos, but he played them well. With my dark sense of humor, I was kind of amused by him. But as we got closer to the rape scene, I caught him staring at Ned Beatty in an odd, unnerving way. Ned would see it, and look away." - from the book My Life, published by Hyperion.
(on the rape scene of Deliverance (1972)): "The day before we shot the scene I noticed McKinney hovering beside Ned and sat down between them. I wanted him to see I was Ned's friend. No different than in the script. Then I asked him how he planned to handle the rape scene. McKinney turned out to be a pretty good guy who just took the method way too far. Staring straight at Ned, he whispered, 'I've always wanted to try that.Always have.' Ned shouted , 'John!Oh, John!'. In his brilliance, Boorman reassured Ned but also brought in several additional cameras, knowing Ned wasn't going to give him a second, third or fourth take. Ned was only going to do the brutal scene once. When it came down to shooting it, Cowboy and McKinney were hands-down brilliant. Scared the shit out of everybody who saw the movie. People crawled out of the theater. None of that creepy 'Squeal, piggy, piggy' stuff was in the script. But McKinney, I swear to God, really wanted to hump Ned. And I think he was going to. He had it up and he was going to bang him. It's the first and only time I have ever seen camera operators turn their heads away. Finally, I couldn't stand it anymore. I ran into the scene, dove on McKinney, and pulled him off. Boorman, hot on my tracks, helped hold him down. Ned, who was crying from both rage and fear, found a big stick and started beating him on the head. Half a dozen guys grabbed Ned and pulled him away. We separated the two of them and let things cool off."- from the book My Life, published by Hyperion.
(talking about his Oscar nomination):"I'm stunned that I'm in this category, which I think is the toughest category, but then why shouldn't I? It's my category. But there are guys there that, it's not bad enough that there's brilliant actors, but one's that been knighted, you know? It's unbelievable to me. And George C. Scott is right, unless we all played the same role, it really isn't quite fair. I may streak again. I have no idea what my reaction will be, all I know is I'll go in with no expectations."
(talking about his character in his upcoming movie Waterproof (1999)): "He's a 73-year-old Jewish grocery store owner on a street that's entirely African American. He's the only holdout. He's not moving. Tough old guy. I'm finding out to my own surprise, that I can do things I didn't think I could."
(talking about Boogie Nights):" It's obvious why someone, I think, would be afraid of this project, and I thought I had some baggage in terms of a lot of people who grew up with movies like I did would wonder why I would even be near a film like that. I also felt like this thing will either crash and burn, be the biggest disaster of all time or the most talked about film of the year. Quite honestly I needed a jump start, and so it was a brave choice. I kept turning it down and then getting reassurances that we had humanity.And the humanity was I was a surrogate father for damaged goods, and the first day we read, I was astounded at the talent, these young actors who I hadn't worked with, some of 'em I didn't know. Incredible. And about 10, 15 minutes into the reading Mark Wahlberg came over and sat down beside me, and he said, "How ya doin' Dad?" It stayed like that, the relationship stayed like that through the whole film."
(when asked about happiness):"I am happy. I was just talking to a very savvy casting director, who's been around for a long time, who said, "I'm so happy for you, " and I knew he was. I said, I wish this would never end. I wish there was never an award, a rush party, I don't want to join the fraternity. I just wanna go on with the rush part."
(After his nomination for Boogie Nights):"My being nominated this year is no comeback story because I simply refused to go away."
(talking about Dinah Shore):"One of the greatest ladies I ever knew was Dinah Shore and she taught me right away if you can't laugh at yourself, you have no business in this business. If I have any class -- and that's probably debatable -- it's due to Dinah."
(talking about the stunt scenes he did for his thriller Crazy Six (1998)):"I told them, 'Look, I can do this. I can still fall; I just can't get up. But the character is dead, anyway!"
(talking about the seventies):"It was an astounding kind of time, and I've often said to people, if I met you between '73 and '78, I'm sorry, I don't remember three or four of those years. You're on such a fast track, and you're up in such heady air you can't breathe -- how the hell are you gonna smell the flowers if you can't breathe anyway? That's why it's wonderful to happen now, when you don't expect it, and if you live through it and come out the other side, you are so much more appreciative. I think -- not to sound too serious as you get older -- I think you're a better person for it."
"Friends come in herds and they leave in herds.Hollywood loves an adventure, but you have to hit bottom. Then they love to save you and be a part of it. Or think they're a part of it."
(talking about his longtime fans):"First of all, it's usually a sea of blue hair, and I'm grateful and thankful that they're still alive and around. I hope they understand that they are responsible for true joy. But the people in the seats were saying, put him in there, and those are the ones that, if I ever win anything, they are more responsible than any producer in Hollywood, because, they never, never walked away."
(Burt on playing an aging Jewish Shopkeeper in the upcoming Waterproof.):"It's a real challenge. I just hope Billy Crystal doesn't get P.O.'d."
(Burt in McCall's magazine.)"You get to a certain age, where you know you can't go over the wall...But I'll never get to the age where I can't go through it."
I am beginning to think there's alot of nice people around in this business.
(talking about his career's phases and the Oscar) "I've gone through every single career phase of getting to this point. If they give the award for being old, not giving up and for loving acting almost as much as loving life, then it's definitely mine."
(While discussing his strengths and weaknesses) "I regret that I do not have the dignity of Ricardo Montalban, the class of Dean Martin, or the humor of Bill Cosby. I DO have the heart of a lion."
(When asked about his success in Hollywood) "The only way you can hurt anyone in this business is by succeeding and hurting their pocket book maybe or just smiling and not giving up."
(While discussing his career mistakes) "All of the younger actors keep coming up to me and asking me where all of the land mines are because they know I've stepped on them all."
(talking about his few bad movies) "my films were the kind they only show in prisons and in airplanes, because nobody can leave..."
(talking about his comeback)"If you hold on to things long enough, they get back into style...like me."
In 1981: "My acting is a bit like basketball. Most females in my films come off very well. I give great assist. And if I'm lucky, I even score."
(talking about marriage):"I'm terrified of marriage. I'm terrified of not doing something so important . . . and at the same time I think you shouldn't rush into these things."
(about the Oscar Nomination): "I'd shot all night and was staying at the Banff Springs Resort Hotel in Canada, which is absolutely gorgeous. It looks like a castle, but it was built in the 1800s, and at 4 o'clock in the morning you think you're in The Shining, you expect Jack Nicholson to jump out. The hallway is a mile long, and I came back, and there was a crew there. They said, "Would you mind?, " and I thought, "You mean, you want me to sit there, and if I'm not nominated, you guys go home?" And I actually have to give you the chair back and everything. And, everybody said, "No, no, you gotta do it." I'm sittin' in this chair thinking, "Well, I'm very calm... ." I got this little thing in my ear, and I'm hearing them announcing the nominations. Well, of course they announced them alphabetically and, unless you're Maud Adams, you know you're gonna be late. It just seemed like forever, and then, when I heard it, I (was) dumbstruck for lack of a better word."
(talking about his friends who called him after the Oscar nomination): "It was, well, the people that didn't leave when I was dying of AIDS and then had a miraculous recovery. It was the people that have been around forever as friends. It was Angie Dickinson, it was Ann-Margret, Jon Voight, Charles Durning, a whole lot of people that aren't in the industry who are very good friends and 500 stunt men -- I work with their grandsons now... . Then you realize how long you've been doing this."
(on Larry King Show, talking about the great parts he turned down): "There are no awards in Hollywood for being an idiot."
(after he heard that Smokey and the Bandit was the favorite film of director Alfred Hitchcock): "I have had people who were very intellectual, and my heroes, that have quietly said to me, 'I loved Smokey and The Bandit.' And I said, 'It's alright because so did 150 million other people.' I'm thrilled that Mr. Hitchcock felt that way and I convey to his daughter that, needless to say, he was the best."
(talking about his character on The Crew): "I knew which character I wanted to play because I understand this guy very well. He goes from being perfectly sane to, within a quarter of a second,choking you to death and banging your head against the floor. I've played wiseguys before, but I've never played a wiseguy who is as demented. There's a reason why they call him 'Bats'."