Legendary actor Burt Reynolds has passed away, as the Inquisitr previously reported. The iconic performer was 82 at the time of his passing. According to his manager, Erik Kritzer, he died Thursday morning at Jupiter Medical in Florida.
In addition to his numerous roles in entertainment — some of which came via critically acclaimed films like Deliverance and Boogie Nights or more escapist fare like The Cannonball Run, The Longest Yard and Smokey and the Bandit— Burt Reynolds has become a Hollywood institution.
Reynolds’ name is invoked ad nauseam in FX’s animated hit, Archer, as the boyhood hero of the shows’s title character. Secret agent Sterling Archer idolizes Reynolds for his portrayal of Gator McKlusky, the main character in White Lightning and the eponymous sequel, Gator. Reynolds’ guest appearance, as himself, in a Season 3 episode turned Archer’s world upside-down, as he was a suitor to Archer’s mother, Mallory, and Archer’s potential Oedipal issues are a recurring gag on the show.
In the clip below, you can see a comic portrayal of Reynolds on Saturday Night Live by Norm MacDonald, during a skit lampooning Celebrity Jeopardy. The cantankerous Reynolds character, who went by Turd Ferguson, was one of several notable feuds Will Ferrell’s Alex Trebek character faced during various renditions of the Celebrity Jeopardy routine.
In the same year as his breakout role in Deliverance, Reynolds made a controversial 1972 centerfold appearance in the pages of Cosmopolitan, sans clothing, as the BBC reported in a 40-year retrospective. That appearance caught the eye of noted songstress Sheryl Crow, who, decades later, described seeing it in her youth in an interview with the now-defunct Stuff Magazine and recalled it as one of her earliest sexual feelings.
Reynolds’ turn as coach Nate Scarborough, teaming with Adam Sandler’s Paul Crewe in the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard, was notable, given Reynolds’ role as Crewe in the original 1974 film more than three decades prior.
If others didn’t seem to take Burt Reynolds seriously, or poked the occasional rib, he took it in stride. It’s exactly what you’d expect, given his own self-effacing perspective on his creative efforts.
“My movies were the kind they show in prisons and airplanes, because nobody can leave,” he once said, as attributed by Express.
Which is not to say that he didn’t appreciate professionalism or the opportunity to turn in an excellent dramatic performance. It simply means Burt Reynolds was, in real life, a relatable everyman who just happened to be an iconic, celebrated movie star as well.