Burt Reynolds has entertained TV and movie audiences since the late 1950s, but the venerable actor has now officially taken his last bow. US Weekly reported that he went into cardiac arrest today and was treated unsuccessfully at a Florida hospital. The Smokey and the Bandit actor, who has suffered from other heart issues in the past, was unable to make a recovery. His family was on hand to say goodbye.
Aside from his Hollywood legacy, Burt Reynolds now leaves behind a net worth of approximately $5 million. In a 2015 interview with Vanity Fair, the Gunsmoke actor discussed his rumored financial difficulties. Although he described himself as “not broke,” his acting fortune did dwindle to only $5 million as a result of a very expensive divorce from Loni Anderson in 1993.
Even though the former couple had a prenup in place that should have protected Reynolds’ money, Anderson was able to get a one-time settlement worth almost $235,000, plus a monthly stipend of $9,000. On top of this, Reynolds spent an estimated $564,000 on divorce attorneys during the 12-month legal battle.
Burt Reynolds had been an A-list actor, but the divorce seriously hurt his image. He had been appearing in advertisements for the Florida Citrus Commission and Quaker State prior to Anderson’s allegations of marital infidelity, substance abuse, and spousal abuse. By the time the divorce was finalized, he’d lost all of his endorsement deals and found it difficult to get regular acting work. Eventually, Reynolds had to file for bankruptcy and ended up selling many of his prized personal possessions.
Reynolds finally got a good acting opportunity again in Boogie Nights, which gained him much critical acclaim, along with an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe Award. He found semi-regular work after that and eventually worked his way back into the Hollywood fold. At the time of his death, Burt Reynolds was filming a new movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He also has at least one other completed film, Defining Moments, that’s scheduled to be released on December 25.
Representatives for the upcoming Quentin Tarantino movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood haven’t disclosed yet whether Reynolds had completed his portion of the filming, or if he’d even started yet.
Despite a tumultuous career since the 1990s, his bankruptcy, previous heart issues, and a hugely publicized divorce from Loni Anderson, Reynolds wrote in his memoir, But Enough About Me, that his biggest regret was not making his relationship with Sally Field work. He also said that Deliverance stood out as his best movie.
Burt Reynolds is survived by his son, Quinton Anderson Reynolds, who he dubbed his “greatest achievement” during an interview with Closer.