5 surprising facts about the late Burt Reynolds that you never knew

5 surprising facts about the late Burt Reynolds that you never knew

Burt Reynolds, the Hollywood icon known for films such as Deliverance, The Longest Yard and Smokey and the Bandit, has died aged 82.

Despite appearing in a seemingly endless amount of Westerns, Reynolds went onto distinguish himself after earning a Golden Globe award and a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for Boogie Nights - Paul Thomas Anderson's 1997 ode to pornography. However, it has always been his extravagant and highly publicised lifestyle which has immortalised him as a Hollywood legend.

Here are five things you may not know about Reynolds, who passed away on the 6th September 2018.

1. He posed nude for Cosmopolitan 

Editor, Helen Gurley Brown, asked Reynolds to do the photoshoot back in 1972, after the pair appeared together on The Tonight Show. "I thought it would be a kick," the actor said. The issue came out shortly before the release of Deliverance, and all 1.6 million copies sold out.

However, Reynolds came to regret posing nude. "I'm very embarrassed by it," he told Piers Morgan. "I thought it cost some actors in Deliverance an Academy Award. I think it cost Jon [Voight]. I think it cost Ned Beatty, who certainly deserved an Oscar nomination. I think it hurt me, too."

2. He turned down his Oscar nominated role in Boogie Nights seven times 

Paul Thomas Anderson was convinced that the role of porn producer, Jack Horner, in Boogie Nights should go to Reynolds, despite his clear aversion to the subject material.

The director asked seven times, and got seven rejections. "One night—the eighth time—[Anderson] came to my hotel room," Reynolds later recalled. "And I said, ‘Look, you don’t get it.’ And I went a little berserk. And at the end of the tirade, he said, ‘If you can do that in the movie, you’ll get nominated for an Academy Award.’ And he was right."

3. In fact, he turned down a lot of major roles... 

Reynolds turned down Han Solo in Star Wars, R.P McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Edward Lewis in Pretty Woman, and John McClane in Die Hard.

Most regrettably, however, the actor turned down a chance to play James Bond in 1969. "In my infinite wisdom, I said to [producer] Cubby Broccoli, ‘An American can’t play James Bond. It just can’t be done.’ And they really tried to talk me into it," he explained. "It was a 10-minute discussion. Finally they left. Every night, I wake up in a cold sweat.”

4. An on-set stunt was responsible for a life of pain

During the filming of 1984's City Heat, Reynolds was hit in the face by a metal chair, and shattered his jaw. He developed TMJ - and as a way to deal with the pain - a severe drug dependency to boot. While Reynolds eventually kicked the addiction, he suffered daily from the decades-old trauma for the remainder of his life.

5. Marlon Brando was not a fan 

Speaking about Reynolds, Brando said: "He is the epitome of something that makes me want to throw up … He is the epitome of everything that is disgusting about the thespian … He worships at the temple of his own narcissism." Ouch - but bear in mind that this was said before the actor even met Reynolds...

Who would have known, eh?