Burt Reynolds Had Been Dogged By Health Issues In The Years Leading Up To His Death

Mike WindleGetty Images for SXSW

Actor Burt Reynolds will always be remembered by his fans as a handsome, charming leading man, but he faced a number of health issues in recent years. News has just emerged that Reynolds has passed away at the age of 82, and this leads many to reflect on some of his appearances in recent months that caused worries among his fans.

Last March, Radar Online shared some updates on Burt Reynolds’ health issues and detailed that he had been spotted looking rather frail. The actor had been seen at JFK airport in New York City and he was walking rather slowly and with a cane as he navigated the terminal. Those who saw him there also noted that he looked somewhat hunched over as he used the cane for support in his walking.

It seems that in recent months, Reynolds had to rely extensively on using a cane or a wheelchair to get around. He also had reportedly been working to manage both arthritis and heart disease, but he hadn’t given up filming roles as they became available.

While Burt was in New York last March, he did some interviews and Closer Weekly detailed that many were noticing his struggles with walking. However, some noted that he seemed to be doing better during this NYC trip than what people had seen in a November 2016 event in Florida.

Reynolds did the Key West Film Festival in late 2016 and shortly before that, he’d appeared at the Philadelphia Wizard World Comic Con. Some of those who attended those events commented then that Burt looked frail and that he didn’t look particularly well. At the time, a friend noted that he’d had numerous health problems that had been eating away at him.

The actor has played a lot of tough-guy roles over the years and he’s previously talked about doing his own stunts often. However, Reynolds came to believe that all of that stunt work eventually impacted his ability to walk without challenges.

In addition to Burt’s recent mobility challenges, Reynolds had back surgery in May 2009 and a quintuple heart bypass in February 2010. He reportedly struggled with an addiction to painkillers for several years some time back, and the addiction apparently came after he broke his jaw and lost a stunning amount of weight.

Despite his numerous health challenges, Reynolds had talked about being happy that he had made it into his 80s, adding that he didn’t feel his age. While fans were voicing concerns about the actor’s health during these recent appearances, Burt’s manager told People that Reynolds’ health was “perfect.”

The actor’s manager indicated that the actor had been doing well since his heart bypass, although recently sources had indicated that he was struggling with additional issues and had come to need around-the-clock assistance while remaining at his Florida estate. Despite his age and health struggles, the iconic movie star was said to be flirty and friendly even in his last months, and his death will leave many fans and colleagues heartbroken.