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Florida Artists: Burt Reynolds
Burt Reynolds is an actor, producer and director who has starred in more than 100 feature films, including Smokey and the Bandit and Boogie Nights. He is one of America's most recognizable film and television personalities with more than 90 feature film and 300 television episode credits. Burt Reynolds started off in TV westerns in the 1960s and then carved his name into 1970's and 1980's popular culture as a male sex symbol and even posed near naked for "Cosmopolitan" magazine. On-screen Reynolds played  both a rugged action figure and then later  a wisecracking, Southern-type "good ol' boy".

Some of Burt Reynolds memorable roles include Lewis Medlock in Deliverance, Paul "Wrecking" Crewe in The Longest Yard, Coach Nate Scarborough in the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard, Bo 'Bandit' Darville in Smokey and the Bandit, J.J. McClure in The Cannonball Run, the voice of Charlie Barkin in All Dogs Go to Heaven and Jack Horner in Boogie Nights.  At various points in his life, Reynolds was romantically involved with Tammy Wynette, Lucie Arnaz, Adrienne Barbeau, Susan Clark, Sally Field, Lorna Luft, Tawny Little, Pam Seals, Dinah Shore, and Chris Evert.

Reynolds' parents were Burton Reynolds, who was of a 1/4 Cherokee ancestry, and his wife, Fern. Reynolds started attending school in Merritt, Michigan, where he felt he did not belong among the Native American, farm and backwoods children who made up most of the student body. Reynolds' father was discharged from the Army in late 1945 and in early 1946, while his parents were on a second honeymoon in Florida, his father was offered a job as general contractor in Riviera Beach, Florida. Living in Florida Burt Reynolds excelled as an athlete and played with Florida State University. He became an All Star Southern Conference halfback, and was earmarked by the Baltimore Colts before a knee injury and a car accident ended his football career.

Reynolds won the 1956 Florida State Drama Award for his performance in Outward Bound. The Florida State Drama Award included a scholarship to the Hyde Park Playhouse, a summer stock theater, in Hyde Park, New York. Reynolds saw the opportunity as an agreeable alternative to more physically demanding summer jobs, but did not yet see acting as a career. While working at Hyde Park, Reynolds met Joanne Woodward, who helped Reynolds find an agent, and be cast in Tea and Sympathy at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. 



Burt Reynolds was spotted in a New York City production of "Mister Roberts" and signed to a TV contract and eventually had recurring roles in such shows as "Gunsmoke" (1955), "Riverboat" (1959) and his own series, "Hawk" .

It was Burt Reynolds tough-guy performance as macho Lewis Medlock in the John Boorman backwoods nightmare Deliverance, in 1972, that really stamped him as a bona-fide star. Hailed as one of the year's best films, Deliverance is the story of four suburbanites' harrowing journey into Appalachian Georgia. Filmed on Georgia's Chattooga River, Deliverance also marked the beginning of Reynolds's devotion to making films in and about the South. Reynolds' popularity continued to soar with his appearance as a no-nonsense private investigator in Shamus the following year and in the Woody Allen comedy "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask".

Building further on his image as a Southern boy who outsmarts the local lawmen, Reynolds packed fans into theaters to see him in The Longest Yard, and later in 1976 the movie Gator. In The Longest Yard, which was filmed at the Georgia State Prison in Reidsville, Reynolds portrays a former NFL star quarterback who is sent to prison and then forced to put together a football team composed of fellow inmates to compete in a life-and-death football game against the sadistic warden's own semi-pro team. Many inmates served as extras and helped to construct the sets, including a football field that was given to the prison after filming was complete.

Over the course of his career, Burt Reynolds has received the Emmy Award, two Golden Globe Awards (for Evening Shade and Boogie Nights), a record nine People's Choice Awards, and was nominated for an Oscar for his critically acclaimed performance in Deliverance. He was also nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Boogie Nights. Burt Reynolds was voted the #1 Box Office Star a record five times in a row. In Florida, Reynolds established the Jupiter Theater, a college-level drama-training institute, and publicly supports his alma mater, Florida State University.

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Florida Artist
Florida Actor
A veteran of screen, stage and television, Burt Reynolds has starred in more than 100 feature films, including Smokey and the Bandit and Starting Over. Burt Reynolds started off in TV westerns in the 1960s and then carved his name into 1970's and 1980's popular culture as a male sex symbol and even posed near naked for "Cosmopolitan" magazine. On-screen Reynolds played both a rugged action figure and then later a wisecracking, Southern-type "good ol' boy". Some of Burt Reynolds memorable roles include Lewis Medlock in Deliverance, Paul "Wrecking" Crewe in The Longest Yard, Coach Nate Scarborough in the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard, Bo 'Bandit' Darville in Smokey and the Bandit, J.J. McClure in The Cannonball Run, the voice of Charlie Barkin in All Dogs Go to Heaven and Jack Horner in Boogie Nights.
DOB: February 11, 1936 00:00:00.000