Movie star Burton Leon Reynolds Jr. (1936-) was born on this day in Waycross, Georgia. His popular action films of the 70s and 80s propelled him to sex symbol status and international success.
At the height of his career, he said: "Nobody is worth what they pay me."
Reynolds received a football scholarship from Florida State University and a bid from the Baltimore Colts before a knee injury ended his hopes for a professional football career. He then turned to acting, trying television first, with roles in Gunsmoke (1962-1965) and Dan August (1970).
Reynold became a sex symbol in 1972 with an unforgettable bear rug centerfold in Cosmopolitan. The exposure dimmed critical acclaim for his dramatic forte in Deliverance (1972).
Through the years, with action/comedy films such as Smokey and the Bandit (1975), Cannonball Run (1981), and Stoker Ace (1983), Reynolds' lighthearted roles celebrated easy-going fun and self-deprecating, good-ole-boy humor.
"Having done 300 television shows and almost 60 movies, I'm tired of having guys who are younger than some sandwiches I've had, telling me to turn left at the couch. There's no appreciation of actors and no sense of history," he observed.
With high-profile romances with Dinah Shore, Sally Field, and Loni Anderson, Reynolds has survived slumps with comebacks, including his award-winning performance as Jack Horner in Boogie Nights (1997). "You feel like a bobbing cork or something, up and down and up and down," he said of his rollercoaster career ride.
"I regret that I do not have the dignity of Ricardo Montalban, the class of Dean Martin, or the humor of Bill Cosby. I do have the heart of a lion." he said.
More Film-Making Quotations
Go ahead, let it all hang out...