Loni Anderson To Pay Tribute To Late Ex-Husband Burt Reynolds In ‘Year In Memoriam’ TV Special

The actress will salute the 'Smokey and the Bandit' star on ABC's annual year-end special 25 years after their bitter breakup.

Loni Anderson and Burt Renolds
Angela Weiss / Kevin Winter / Getty Images

The actress will salute the 'Smokey and the Bandit' star on ABC's annual year-end special 25 years after their bitter breakup.

Loni Anderson will salute her late ex, Burt Reynolds, on ABC’s upcoming The Year in Memoriam TV special. The former WKRP in Cincinnati star, who was married to Reynolds from 1988 to 1993, will be featured in an interview segment about the late movie star, who died in September at age 82.

The Burt Reynolds segment will also include Marilu Henner, who played his wife on Evening Shade, as well as Reynolds’ Florida State University teammate Lee Corso, and his longtime friend, actor John Schneider, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Burt Reynolds spent 12 years with Loni Anderson. After marrying the actress in 1988, the couple adopted a son, Quinton, together. But Reynolds served Anderson court papers five years after marrying her at his Florida ranch, and their divorce went down as one of the nastiest in Hollywood. It took more than 20 years for the two stars to completely sever their financial ties.

In September 2015, 22 years after their divorce was finalized, Burt Reynolds wrote a final check to Loni Anderson in the amount of $154,520, finally putting an end to their drawn-out money battle once and for all, according to TMZ.

Reynolds later told People that his marriage to Anderson was a bad idea from the start, and he complained about her extravagant spending habits in his 2015 memoir, But Enough About Me.

“I should have known that you don’t marry an actress. That was a really dumb move on my part,” Reynolds said.

In an interview with Men’s Health, as excerpted by People, Burt Reynolds even admitted that he married Loni Anderson against his mother’s wishes. Reynolds said there were plenty of red flags before his 1988 wedding to the CBS sitcom star, but he didn’t pay attention. The actor added that as he walked down the aisle to marry Loni Anderson, he looked over at this mother, Fern, and she was shaking her head “no” at him.

“I didn’t pay attention, but my mom was always right,” Reynolds said.

The actor also admitted that his wife of six years was “absolutely not” the love of his life. Burt Reynolds had long said that his Smokey and the Bandit co-star Sally Field was the one that got away.

Loni Anderson told Entertainment Weekly that despite her nasty split from Burt Reynolds, she tried to focus on the many happy times they had together. In a statement to Hollywood Life after Burt Reynolds’ death, Loni Anderson described her late ex-husband as “a wonderful director and actor.”

“He was a big part of my life for 12 years and Quinton’s loving father for 30 years. We will miss him and his great laugh,” Anderson said.

In addition to Burt Reynolds, The Year in Memoriam will feature tributes to Aretha Franklin, Sen. John McCain, physicist Stephen Hawking, and former first lady Barbara Bush. The one-hour special will be hosted by Robin Roberts and executive produced by Roberts and Jimmy Kimmel.

The Year in Memoriam will air on. December 17 at 10 p.m. on ABC.