Veteran Hollywood star Burt Reynolds has died aged 82, his publicist has said.
A spokesman for Reynolds said the actor died in Jupiter, Florida, on Thursday morning after suffering a heart attack.
Reynolds, whose good looks and charm made him one of Hollywood’s most popular actors, starred in films such as Deliverance, The Longest Yard and Smokey and the Bandit in the 1970s and ’80s.
At the peak of his career, Reynolds was one of the most bankable actors in the film industry, reeling off a series of box office smashes until a career downturn in the mid-1980s.
He rebounded in 1997 with a nomination for a best supporting actor Academy Award for Boogie Nights and won an Emmy Award for his role in the 1990-1994 TV series Evening Shade.
Reynolds cited director John Boorman’s Oscar-nominated 1972 Deliverance as his best film, playing tough-guy Lewis Medlock – opposite Jon Voight, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox – in the chilling tale of a canoe trip gone bad in rural Georgia.
He starred in dozens of movies, also including White Lightning (1973), WW and the Dixie Dancekings (1975), Hustle (1975), Nickelodeon (1976) and Semi-Tough (1977).
Reynolds reportedly turned down the roles of Han Solo in Star Wars and John McClane in Die Hard, later saying he was more interested in enjoying himself than pushing himself as an actor.
In his 2015 memoir, But Enough About Me, he said: “I didn’t open myself to new writers or risky parts because I wasn’t interested in challenging myself as an actor. I was interested in having a good time.
“As a result, I missed a lot of opportunities to show I could play serious roles. By the time I finally woke up and tried to get it right, nobody would give me a chance.”
Reynolds’ personal life sometimes overshadowed his movies, with marriages that ended in divorce to actresses Loni Anderson and Judy Carne and romances with others, including Sally Field and Dinah Shore.
Reynolds also generated attention for financial woes and his struggles with prescription pain medication.
Tributes are pouring onto social media for the Hollywood legend.
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