Born Burton Leon Reynolds Jr, the actor often claimed to have been born in Waycross, Georgia, yet admitted in his autobiography But Enough About Me that his life actually began in Lansing, Michigan, and he grew up in Palm Beach, Florida.
Social media reacted with sadness and with tributes to Reynolds Thursday, pointing out his iconic roles and the example he set for stars on the rise. This was a previous health concern for the actor, who underwent heart surgery in 2010.
The famously suave 82-year-old, a huge box office draw at his peak who earned a reputation as a hard-drinking playboy, suffered a heart attack at a hospital in Florida, his manager Erik Kritzer told the Hollywood Reporter. Reynolds had mixed feelings about the film in spite of the acclaim.
One of America's most prominent sex symbols, he was known for posing nude in Cosmopolitan magazine in 1972.
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Reynolds made a comeback with 1997's "Boogie Nights", for which he was nominated for an Oscar. While Reynolds ended up losing the award to Good Will Hunting's Robin Williams, he did take home a Golden Globe.
Reynolds, named the top box office draw for five consecutive years by The National Association of Theatre Owners, was an Oscar nominee, a two-time Golden Globe victor, and the recipient of the People's Choice Award for six straight years.
He starred in films such as Deliverance and Boogie Nights.
More recently, he was said to be in talks to join the cast of Quentin Tarantino's upcoming movie "Once Upon a Time In Hollywood", in which he was to play George Spahn, the owner of the farm used by the Manson family cult. That film is scheduled to be released in 2019. He also "backed away" from playing Batman on TV in the '60s.
He married his second wife, the actress Loni Anderson, in 1988 before divorcing in 1993.