Burt Reynolds
Burt Reynolds

It’s been nearly one year since Hollywood legend Burt Reynolds passed away from a heart attack at the age of 82. Now, his good friend and business partner Gene Kennedy is opening up about the star’s final years.

Fox News reported that Kennedy said that Reynold’s death came as a major shock to him. When asked what Reynolds’ final years were like, Kennedy said that they were incredibly active.

“I’ll be honest with you, I’m 50 and I had a hard time keeping up with him,” he said. “He was always working and always staying up. I remember times when I would want to go take a nap and Burt’s still working and doing his thing. So he was always active. And, of course, as we know, Burt, growing up, I mean, my God, he was always fit, in top shape. He remained that way all through his life. Burt has always taken really good care of himself… But the final years of his life were busy. He always received opportunities and he was happy to just work.”

Kennedy also opened up about the last time he saw Reynolds.

“We actually did an event in August in Tennessee up in Knoxville,” he said. “And I usually would fly with him to some of the events. We had a private plane scheduled to pick him up. But I had to remain behind to get some props and things moved with one of the trailers and I stayed behind. But I took Burt to the airport. We chatted a little bit on the way there/ I drove him out on the tarmac and I helped him get on the plane. We hugged and I told him I love him. That was the last time I ever saw Burt — when he got on the plane. He passed away that September.”

Reynolds offers touching advice

Kennedy went on to say that Reynolds was like a grandfather to him, and he even revealed the best piece of advice that he ever gave him.

“We were on an airplane once, and Burt loved to read,” Kennedy explained. “He had an enormous library in his home and he’d read probably every book in it. But we were on an airplane and he had a magazine. There were some articles in there about just being good to people and that type of thing. He circled the passage in this magazine, and then he leaned over and he showed it to me. It was basically, ‘Treat people good and in turn, people should treat you good.'”

“And that was his philosophy — to just treat everybody openly, especially his fans,” he continued. “When we did Comic-Cons and things, other actors had left the building but Burt would stay there until his line was done — until every last person got their signature. Even if his hands were hurting or carpal tunnel was kicking in, he would stay there and make sure everybody got their last autograph. He cared a lot about the fans, and that was Burt. Very caring, loved everybody. He tried to instill that in all of us.”

There really will never be another Burt Reynolds. He will never be forgotten, and we hope he rests in peace!