Burt Reynolds boogied his way into pop culture prominence, becoming a celebrity icon and sex symbol during the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
Reynolds’ illustrious career earned him countless honors and nominations, including Emmys, Golden Globes, and Academy Oscars, for great films such as 1973’s White Lightning and 1997’s Boogie Nights. But his triumph was not always unassailable.
Reynolds was once forced to retire from acting owing to an on-set stunt that went awry.
Reynolds began his career in television before becoming a movie star.
Reynolds’ career took off after he dabbled in theatrical acting and won a TV contract that landed him roles on iconic Western TV episodes like Gunsmoke and Riverboat.
“He became a recognized figure to TV audiences,” the Biography explains. “Both gorgeous and affable, Reynolds grew in popularity in the early 1970s by appearing on various talk shows, notably Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, where he would become a regular guest.”
Things only improved, and Reynolds soon went from the little screen to the big screen. “His tough-guy portrayal as macho Lewis Medlock in John Boorman’s backwoods nightmare Deliverance (1972) cemented him as a bona fide star,” according to IMDb.
According to the site, this established Reynolds’ status as a sex symbol and a wild icon of masculinity.
Many of Reynolds’ films featured difficult stunts, which proved his undoing.