Born in Lansing, Michigan in 1936, Reynolds began acting on television in the late 50's. The early 60's saw him make his film debut in 1961's Angel Baby, while joining the cast of TV Western Gunsmoke in 1962.
Reynolds saw his fame skyrocket after being cast in John Boorman's 1972 film Deliverance. The 70's brought Reynolds further success with 1974's The Longest Yard and 1977's Smokey and the Bandit. The latter was the highest grossing film of that year behind Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, and spawned a pair of sequels in 1980 and 1983.
Reynolds also starred in Paul Thomas Anderson's 1997 film Boogie Nights, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Reynolds made his directorial debut in 1976 with Gator, following that up with 1978's The End. He also leant his voice acting chops to 1989's All Dogs Go to Heaven. He also voiced the character Avery Carrington in 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
Earlier this year, Reynolds had been named to the cast of Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. TMZ reports that Reynolds died of a heart attack. The actor had undergone heart bypass surgery in 2010.
Find reaction to Reynolds' passing from fans and industry counterparts below.
RIP Burt Reynolds. Seems his whole career was tongue in cheek. Always warm and funny.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) September 6, 2018
RIP Burt Reynolds. Watch Deliverance - The Longest Yard - Boogie Nights - The Last Movie Star— Ike Barinholtz (@ikebarinholtz) September 6, 2018
Burt Reynolds & Clint Eastwood were fired from GUNSMOKE & RAWHIDE at the same time. Burt was told he couldn't act and Clint his neck was too skinny. In the parking lot, Burt said to Clint, "I dunno what you're gonna do, but I'm gonna take acting lessons." #RIPBurtReynolds— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) September 6, 2018
Burt Reynolds was one of my heroes. He was a trailblazer. He showed the way to transition from being an athlete to being the highest paid actor, and he always inspired me. He also had a great sense of humor - check out his Tonight Show clips. My thoughts are with his family.— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) September 6, 2018
A sad day, my friend BURT REYNOLDS Has passed away. I remember him back in 1979, he always reminded me that I should've cast him as Colonel Trautman in FIRST BLOOD , I said that's… https://t.co/zlAEfpAiaP— Sylvester Stallone (@TheSlyStallone) September 6, 2018
Burt Reynolds wore a half-zipped wetsuit shirt with the sleeves ripped off in Deliverance. Swag. pic.twitter.com/KMIQhJQ7SU— Anders Holm (@ders808) September 6, 2018
One of the best experiences I ever had on stage was at #BurtReynolds Jupiter Theatre in Larry Shue's The Foreigner, directed by the brilliant Charles Nelson Reilly. Reynolds & Charles did great things by nurturing/encouraging young talent and apprentices at the school there. RIP.— James Morrison (@JamesPMorrison) September 6, 2018
#BurtReynolds is cracking up with that laugh, riding in the bandit in the sky. Lucky to have worked with such a gentleman, such an icon, and one of the sweetest guest stars we could've ever had on Burn Notice. 😥❤️— Jeffrey Donovan (@WickedpissaJD) September 6, 2018