Reynolds was an iconic Hollywood sex symbol. At Palm Beach High School, he first made a name for himself as a football star and earned an athletic scholarship to Florida State University. He hoped to have a career in professional football, but he suffered a knee injury in the first game of his sophomore season, and later that year he lost his spleen and injured his other knee as a result of a car accident. So he became an actor instead. He began acting on television in the late 1950s, and made his film debut in Angel Baby (1961). His breakout film role was as Lewis Medlock in Deliverance (1972). Reynolds appeared on ABC’s The American Sportsman hosted by outdoors journalist Grits Gresham, who took celebrities on hunting, fishing and shooting trips around the world. During the 1970s, Reynolds played leading roles in a series of action films and comedies, such as White Lightning (1973), The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (also 1973), Lucky Lady (1975) or Smokey and the Bandit (1977).
Burt Reynolds aged
He made his directorial debut in 1976 with Gator, the sequel to White Lightning. He was a singer too. In 1973, Reynolds released the album Ask Me What I Am and in 1983 sang along with Dolly Parton in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Reynolds was among Hollywood’s highest-paid actors, but later fell into financial trouble. After many artistic performances, in May 2018, he joined the cast for Quentin Tarantino’s film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood but died before shooting his scenes.