Hollywood actor Burt Reynolds died on Thursday at the age of 82, his agent Todd Eisner confirmed. He said Reynolds died in Florida in the United States after suffering a heart attack, The Telegraph reported.
Reynolds’ niece Nancy Lee Hess acknowledged that he had a history of health issues, but said her uncle’s death was “totally unexpected”. “My uncle was not just a movie icon; he was a generous, passionate and sensitive man, who was dedicated to his family, friends, fans and acting students,” Hess said in a statement.
He won an Emmy in 1992 for his performance in the TV series Evening Shade, and was nominated for an Oscar in 1997 for his role as an adult film director in the movie Boogie Nights. His other memorable performances include Deliverance (1972), Smokey and the Bandit (1977), The Longest Yard (1974), The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973). Reynolds also directed several movies, including Gator (1976), The End (1978), Sharky’s Machine (1981) and Stick (1985).
The actor was slated to appear with Brad Pitt, Leonardo Di Caprio, Margot Robbie and Al Pacino in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. According to a report in Reuters, Reynolds was not scheduled to shoot his scenes until the end of this month.
“Burt Reynolds was one of my heroes,” actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Twitter. “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.”
Sally Field, whom Reynolds once called “the love of my life”, also paid tribute to the actor. “There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away,” Field said according to CNN. “They stay alive, even forty years later. My years with Burt never leave my mind. He will be in my history and my heart, for as long as I live. Rest, Buddy.”