Burt Reynolds made a rare appearance at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday — where his latest film, Dog Years, premiered. Although the 81-year-old actor needed assistance walking down the red carpet and paused to sit on a stool, Reynolds said he was delighted to see so many fans and friends at the premiere.
During a recent interview, Burt Reynolds admitted Dog Years is a reflection of his own life. In the film, which co-stars Ariel Winter, Clark Duke, and Chevy Chase, Burt plays Vic Edwards — who is also an aging movie star. As reported by IMDB, director and writer Adam Rifkin wrote the part specifically for Reynolds and “would not have made the movie” if he had turned down the role.
During an interview on the red carpet, Burt Reynolds joked that he must be “doing all right” because so many people showed up for the premiere. However, fans were concerned that he looked particularly frail and was unable to walk or stand without assistance.
— Daily Express (@Daily_Express) April 23, 2017
According to Closer Weekly, the acclaimed actor has dealt with numerous health issues in recent years –including back surgery and a quintuple heart bypass. The actor blames his difficulty walking and standing on performing a majority of his own stunts throughout the years.
Although he is clearly aging and appears quite frail, Burt Reynolds has maintained his acting career and his sense of humor. In the last two years alone, he has appeared in numerous television series and films, including a recurring role in the comedy series Hitting the Breaks.
A native of Lansing, Michigan, Burt Reynolds attended Florida State University on a football scholarship. Although he was incredibly talented and was expected to make a career of playing the sport, his dreams were shattered by a serious injury.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) April 22, 2017
As his football career was over, Burt decided to try his hand at acting. At the age of 21, he made his stage debut in a revival of Mister Roberts. Burt’s charisma and talent caught the attention of a television studio, which offered him a contract.
Biography reports Burt Reynolds appeared in numerous television shows throughout the 1960s. However, he became specifically popular after an appearance on the Tonight Show in the early 1970s.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Reynolds starred in a number of hit films, including The Longest Yard, Semi-Tough, Smokey and the Bandit, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and The Cannonball Run.
Between the 1990s and 2017, the acclaimed actor appeared in numerous television series, including Evening Shade and My Name is Earl, and films, including the award – winning Boogie Nights.
Throughout his career, Burt Reynolds was honored with numerous awards, including two Golden Globe Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, an American Movie Award, and six People’s Choice Awards. According to IMDB, the actor won a total of 34 awards during his 60-year career and was nominated for 27 others.
Although he suffered through several divorces and near financial ruin, Burt Reynolds remains one of the most admired and recognized actors in the world. Despite his frail appearance and numerous medical scares, Reynolds has maintained an active acting career and has not indicated that he is ready or willing to retire.
In recent years, Burt has reduced his number of public appearances — which sparked rumors that he is simply too weak to attend live events. Fortunately, he was able to make it to his premiere on Saturday.
Burt Reynolds’ appearance during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival was somewhat unsettling. However, his fans and friends were happy to see him on the red carpet and applauded his role in the Dog Years film. During his red carpet interviews, the actor seemed genuinely happy that he could make the trip and was proud of the turnout.
[Featured Image by Michele Eve Sandberg/Invision/AP Images]