Hollywood star Burt Reynolds dies aged 82

Hollywood pays tribute to the 70s heartthrob and movie "legend" who rose to fame in the cult hit Deliverance

(Getty)

Burt Reynolds, one of Hollywood’s best known actors, has died at the age of 82.

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The actor shot to fame in 1972 in the cult hit Deliverance, which picked up three Oscar nominations and earned him heartthrob status. He also starred in movies including Smokey and the Bandit, Boogie Nights and The Cannonball Run.

He died in a Florida hospital with his family by his side following a heart attack.

The great and the good of Hollywood have paid tribute to the actor, including Arnold Schwarzenegger who described Reynolds as a “hero” and a “trailblazer”, while Russell Crowe praised him as an actor and a friend.

Reynolds’ niece Nancy Lee Hess told the BBC his death had left the family “with a broken heart”.

“My uncle was not just a movie icon, he was a generous, passionate and sensitive man who was dedicated to his family, friends, fans and acting students,” she said.

“He has had health issues, however, this was totally unexpected.”

She added: “I want to thank all of his amazing fans who have always supported and cheered him on, through all of the hills and valleys of his life and career.”

She said Reynolds had been looking forward to working with Quentin Tarantino on the movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, in which he was due to play George Spahn. He was unable to film his scenes before he died.

Actress Sally Field, who Reynolds once called “the love of my life”, said in a statement to CNN that the actor “will be in my history and my heart, for as long as I live.”

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“There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away,” she said. “They stay alive, even 40 years later. My years with Burt never leave my mind.”


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