Name: Burt Reynolds
Jobs: Actor and Producer
|Famous For: Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit, The Cannonball Run and Boogie Nights|
Jobs Actor and Producer
Famous For Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit, The Cannonball Run and Boogie Nights
“My movies were the kind they show in prisons and airplanes, because nobody can leave.” Never intending to become an actor, Burt Reynolds was a star on the football field at his Florida high school and took his passion for the sport to Florida State University on a football scholarship. Reynolds envisioned being named to an All-American team but a leg injury during the first game of his sophomore year left the star running-back on the bench. Months later, a car accident took him out of the game forever and led the young Reynolds to pursue an entirely different future.
Considering a career as a police or parole officer, Reynolds never considered taking the stage until his English professor at the local community college encouraged him to try out for a play he was producing. Reynolds landed the starring role and gave such a stellar performance that he was awarded a scholarship to Hyde Park Playhouse in New York where he honed his talents. By then, it was only a matter of time before he found an agent and made his Broadway debut while taking acting classes alongside Carol Lawrence and Frank Gifford.
In 1960, Reynolds caught his first major break when he appeared on an episode of Pony Express, which led to his first starring film role in Angel Baby the following year. Instantly deemed a heartthrob, the young star turned down the chance to play James Bond saying “An American can’t play James Bond. It just can’t be done,” which made Hollywood love him even more. The offer was a distant memory by 1972, however, when Reynolds starred in Deliverance. Since then, he’s taken the lead in a string of successful flicks like The Cannonball Run, Smokey and the Bandit and Boogie Nights while dabbling in everything from directing and producing to business ventures as a nightclub, sports team, and NASCAR team owner.
Like so many actors of his generation, the 80-year-old Reynolds has yet to make a full-blown confession that he’s had plastic surgery to ensure his place in the spotlight over the years. Instead, The Longest Yard star has let the rumors run wild as the world speculates not if but how many and what kind of procedures Reynolds has had done. In fact, the rumors went to an entirely new level of wild in 2013 when Reynolds appeared at Spike TV’s Guy’s Choice Awards with a new look that led many to argue a facelift was to blame.
Long known for his rugged good looks, iconic mustache, bushy eyebrows and dark hair, fans didn’t think twice when Reynolds started developing a few wrinkles here and there. However, when he walked the red carpet at the awards ceremony with absolutely no wrinkles in sight, everyone took notice and, as you can imagine, it wasn’t pretty. Tabloids reported that “Reynolds stood out for all the wrong reasons among the A-list stars” while others deemed his new face an epic plastic surgery “disaster.”
Despite the widespread criticism, Reynolds continued to deny ever having a facelift although he did admit to having some work done around his eyes, otherwise known as a blepharoplasty to remove the excess skin around the eye area to reduce sagging and puffiness. As for why his wrinkles seemed to vanish overnight, Reynolds attributed it to good genes. “I inherited my smooth skin from my father,” he said. Already in his 70s when he made the comment, no one was buying the lie especially since Reynolds had spent most of his life living hard and fast in the spotlight.
Today, the 80-year-old is still a hot topic among tabloids thanks to his wax-like appearance and permanent look of shock and awe caused by too much skin tightening over the years. As a matter of fact, Reynolds couldn’t escape some of his harshest critics when he made his return to the silver screen in The Dukes of Hazzard in 2005. After the preview, Washington Post writer Stephen Hunter put words to what everyone was already thinking when he wrote, “Burt Reynolds’ face is frozen like a Dairy Queen sundae in January.” Talk about harsh!
Now retired for the most part with seven years between his last two films—A Bunch of Amateurs in 2008 and Pocket Listing in 2015—Reynolds conveniently decided to retire after his alleged plastic surgery. While there’s no confirmation that the two are related, it’s undeniable that going under the knife didn’t boost Reynolds career like he might have hoped. In fact, the former silver screen star has spent even more time in the doctors’ office lately after having back surgery in 2009 and a quintuple heart bypass in 2010. Other than that, the former Smokey and the Bandit star has laid low with only a few sporadic appearances on shows like American Dad! where even a few comments were made about his anti-aging look. Go figure!