Burt Reynolds Dies at 82

Just 24 hours before South magazine was scheduled to photograph and interview Burt Reynolds, we received the news that one of the largest icons of Southern cinema had passed away.

The photos were to be in support of a cover story that was going to examine the unique role Burt Reynolds played in film, injecting true Southern charm and humor into the mold of a classic leading man. Across films like “Smokey and The Bandit,” “Cannonball Run” and “The Longest Yard,” he introduced Hollywood to the wisecracking side of the South, charming moviegoers with a sly grin and a debonair attitude. 

Over the span of his career he earned an Emmy for his show “Evening Shade” and an Oscar nomination for his role in “Boogie Nights.” But it was his work in the 1970s and 1980s that truly made him an icon.

As South publisher Michael Brooks put it, the story was to be an in-depth examination of, “The South’s greatest actor.” The story would have not only discussed his legendary career, but the way his southern upbringing informed his unique comedic timing and presence on screen. It would have also shed light on his time in the city of Savannah, in which he filmed “The Longest Yard” and “Gator.”  

Burt Reynolds was 82, and died in Jupiter, Florida surrounded by family and loved ones. He leaves behind a legacy of Southern cinematic greatness that can never be replicated.