In Honor of His Birthday – 5 Things You Didn't Know About Burt Reynolds

Happy 80th birthday to a Hollywood legend. Burt Reynolds is pretty well-known for his roles in hits like Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit, Boogie Nights and so many more, but I bet there are a few things about the guy you didn't know. In honor of his big day, here are 5 things you didn't know about Burt Reynolds. 

1. He's Turned Down Some Pretty Awesome Roles

Y'all ever heard of Hans Solo? What about James Bond? In an interview with Piers Morgan, Reynolds admitted to turning down both of those huge roles as well as Edward Lewis in Pretty Woman and John McClane in Die Hard.

Reynolds also turned down a chance to play James Bond in 1969. As Reynolds explains it: “In my infinite wisdom, I said to [producer] Cubby Broccoli, ‘An American can’t play James Bond. It just can’t be done.’" Reynolds says he still regrets turning down such an incredible opportunity. 

2. He once had an Atlanta nightclub

Let's just say it didn't last very long. He opened Burt's Place in the late 70s at the Omni International Hotel in downtown Atlanta. The dance floor even has a stained glass image of the Bandit's face. Unfortunately, the club closed after a year, or you know it would be featured on our South's Greatest Places to Play in Atlanta list! 

3. Deliverance is his favorite of his films

Looking back, Reynolds says Deliverance was the most fun movie to make. He is also the most proud of that film according to his recent interview in Vanity Fair.

Scroll down to see the special Deliverance treat a local impersonator, John Sandifer, has prepared for the legend! 

3. He posed nude for Cosmo…and regrets it

Just before Deliverance was released, Reynolds posed nude as "The Cosmopolitan Man" in the popular magazine. All 1.6 million copies of the issue sold out!

Today, he completely regrets the decision, saying it might have cost him and his cast mates some Oscar nods. 

4. He could have been a pro football player

Not many know this, but Burt Reynolds was once a pretty big football start at Florida State University. After a terrible car accident, the star was too injured to continue playing. Lucky for us, the guy took up acting, or we might be writing about his incredible football career right now instead of his legendary acting chops!

5. Local impersonator, John Sandifer, does a pretty awesome impression of him, and has even met the Bandit himself!

If you've ever caught sight of John Sandifer doing his amazing Forrest Gump impression, you know the man's got talent. His Burt Reynolds impression is also pretty stellar and he's got a little birthday message for the Bandit: