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“Smokey and the Bandit” actor Burt Reynolds dead at 82

Fans+show+their+love+for+Burt+Reynolds+outside+his+home+in++Hobe+Sound.
Fans show their love for Burt Reynolds outside his home in  Hobe Sound.

Fans show their love for Burt Reynolds outside his home in Hobe Sound.

Palm Beach Post

Palm Beach Post

Fans show their love for Burt Reynolds outside his home in Hobe Sound.

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1970’s superstar Burt Reynolds died of cardiac arrest at Jupiter Medical Center on Sept. 6. He was 82 years old.

Reynolds suffered a heart attack at his Florida home and was transported to Jupiter Medical Center with his family by his side.

“He had his health issues; however, this was totally unexpected. He was tough. Anyone who breaks their tail bone on a river and finishes the movie is tough,” Nancy Lee Hess, Reynolds’ niece, said in a statement to US Weekly.

Born in Lansing, Michigan, Reynolds moved to Riviera Beach when he was 10 years old in 1946. He attended Palm Beach High School and had a promising career as a football player until he injured his knee as a halfback at Florida State University.

He became interested in acting after his teacher, Watson B. Duncan III, encouraged him to try out for the school play at Palm Beach Junior College. His performance in the play won Reynolds the 1956 Florida State Drama Award, which included a scholarship to Hyde Park Playhouse, a summer stock theater in New York.

Reynold got his first major role in the TV show “Riverboat” in 1959. His likability and charming looks landed him other roles in low-budget movies and TV shows.

His most influential roles were in the 1972 film adaption of the novel “Deliverance” and the 1977 action movie “Smokey and the Bandit.” Scenes from “Smokey and the Bandit II” were filmed in Jupiter. Reynolds married Loni Anderson at his ranch in Jupiter Farms.

To honor Reynolds, an online petition began on Sept. 7, to rename Jupiter Farms Rd. to Burt Reynolds Rd. The petition has reached 7,373 signatures as of Sept. 13.

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The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School
“Smokey and the Bandit” actor Burt Reynolds dead at 82