burt reynolds
Burt Reynolds during 2nd Annual Century Awards at The Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)

Beloved Hollywood star Burt Reynolds, best known for his work in films like Smokey and the Bandit and Boogie Nights, passed away on Thursday after going into cardiac arrest at a Florida hospital. He was 82 years-old.

The Hollywood Reporter stated that at the time of his death, Reynolds had been filming Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, which is due to be released next year. Known for his charisma, Reynolds was rarely applauded by critics, even though he was loved by the public.

“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,” Reynolds wrote in his 2015 memoir, But Enough About Me. “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.”

Reynold’s popularity with his audience was always a constant, however. He was the highest grossing star in Hollywood from 1978 through 1982, a feat the industry hadn’t seen since the days of Bing Crosby 40 years earlier. He was also known for the roles that he turned down. Reynolds turned down the part of Han Solo in Star Wars, which later went to Harrison Ford, as well as the role of retired astronaut Garrett Breedlove in Terms of Endearment, which Jack Nicholson won an Oscar for. Reynolds later said that turning down the role of Breedlove was the biggest regret of his career.

Reynolds’ favorite film of his career was the 1972 classic Deliverance.

“If I had to put only one of my movies in a time capsule, it would be Deliverance,” Reynolds wrote. “I don’t know if it’s the best acting I’ve done, but it’s the best movie I’ve ever been in. It proved I could act, not only to the public but me.”

Tributes are already pouring in for Reynolds on Twitter:

Rest in peace, Burt Reynolds!

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