Best known for his work on the late ’70’s classic film, “Smokey and the Bandit“, legendary Hollywood actor Burt Reynolds has died from a heart attack at the age of 82. Confirmation was made by a family spokesperson who confirmed the death on Thursday morning local time in Jupiter, Florida.
Although best known for Smokey, his breakout role was actually in the film thriller “Deliverance” in 1972 where he played Lewis Medlock. His career began with a role in the ’60’s series Gunsmoke (1962–1965) which was centred around the settlement of the American West.
Other Box Office hits included;
- The Longest Yard (1974),
- Semi-Tough (1977),
- Hooper (1978),
- The Cannonball Run (1981)
- The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982).
- Smokey and the Bandit (1977),
- Smokey and the Bandit II (1980),
Burt Reynolds also performed in productions for TV, and was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his role in Boogie Nights (1997).
Of course we best remember him as Smokey with the amazing 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Special Edition that appeared in the film and became iconic for generations. In basic Black Paint with Gold accents, and the magnificent Flamed Bird on the bonnet, the car was a perfect representation of the Burt Reynolds Flamboyance of the day.
At the time, Pontiac offered the car with a choice of the 185Hp L80 Oldsmobile 403 V8, the 180Hp L78 Pontiac 400 V8 or the 200Hp W72 Performance Package. By today’s standards, those power figures may seem low, and most knew the car was capable of more power, however that was the regulation of the day.
The car was revived in 2017 as an anniversary edition, sporting the same colour and style combinations and 840Hp from a Supercharged 7.4-liter LSX V8 engine. That was a much better power figure that matched the appearance and potential of the car.
The car became iconic, but it was the image and legend of Burt Reynolds and his role in Smokey and the Bandit that made it so!
Rest In Peace Burt.