Before he became a male sex symbol of the 1970s and ’80s, Burt Reynolds began his career appearing in the TV westerns of the 1960s.
Reynolds signed a TV contract that landed him recurring roles in such shows as “Gunsmoke,” “Riverboat” and his own series “Hawk.” But it was his tough-guy persona playing Lewis Medlock in the horror film “Deliverance” that propelled his film career. His popularity continued to skyrocket with his roles in “The Longest Yard” (1974), “Gator” (1976) and the box-office hit “Smokey and the Bandit” (1977).
By the late 1980s, his film career slowed. He returned to television and appeared in “B.L. Stryker” and “Evening Shade,” for which he won an Emmy.
By 1996, critics were taking notice of the actor once more. He received critical acclaim for his portrayal of a drunken — and corrupt — politician in the otherwise bust “Striptease.” He followed that with a performance as a porn director in “Boogie Nights” (1997), a role that nabbed him an Oscar nod.
Reynolds died Sept. 6, 2018 in Jupiter, Fla., of cardiopulmonary arrest, according to his agent, Erik Kritzer. He was 82.
|1997||Best Supporting Actor||Boogie Nights||Nomination|