Burt Reynolds died Thursday afternoon in Florida after suffering a heart attack, according to US Magazine. He was reportedly rushed to a local hospital after going into cardiac arrest and he was pronounced dead shortly after.
Reynolds’ niece released a statement on his death, saying his passing was “totally unexpected,” and expressed how “generous, passionate and sensitive” Reynolds was.
“My uncle was not just a movie icon; he was a generous, passionate and sensitive man who was dedicated to his family, friends, fans and acting students,” the statement reads. “He has had health issues, however, this was totally unexpected. He was tough. Anyone who breaks their tailbone on a river and finishes the movie is tough. And that’s who he was.”
According to TMZ, Reynolds had been “frail” recently and was in and out of the hospital. Reynolds was 82.
His family was by his side at the Florida hospital when he died, according to US Magazine. Reynolds is survived by his son, Quinton Anderson Reynolds. The famed actor was married to Judy Carne from 1963 until 1965 and Loni Anderson from 1988 until 1993.
Reynolds Had a History of Heart Problems & Underwent Major Surgery in 2010
Reynolds had heart problems for years and underwent major heart surgery in February 2010.
According to People, Reynolds underwent quintuple bypass surgery during that 2010 procedure. “Mr. Reynolds has been released from a hospital in Florida in which he had a planned bypass operation. He wants to thank everyone for their good wishes and states that he has a great motor with brand new pipes and he is feeling great. Doctors plan on a speedy recovery,” his reps said in a statement at the time.
Prior to his surgery, Reynolds said he “was a heart attack waiting to happen,” he told People. But he said he was feeling fabulous and wanted to “live to be 199” after the procedure.
“My doctor said I needed to undergo bypass surgery immediately,” Reynolds told People. He said his doctor found that his arteries were closed when he went in for a physical. “I went home and shaved then had the operation the next day.”
His heart surgery came not long after he went into treatment for a prescription drug addiction, according to CNN. Reynolds, then 74, revealed he had become addicted to painkillers he received after back surgery and checked into a drug rehab clinic “to regain control of his life”
In 2013, Reynolds spent time in the hospital after a bout with dehydration and the flu, according to ET.
Reynolds was a beloved movie and television star, appearing in classics such as Smokey and the Bandit, Boogie Nights and The Cannonball Run. He was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his role as porn director Jack Horner in Boogie Nights in 1997. He also won a Golden Globe that year.
He was known for his role in TV shows such as Gunsmoke and Dan August, but rose to fame in the ‘70s for his breakout role as Lewis Medlock in Deliverance.
In December, audiences will see Reynolds in one of his final roles in Defining Moments. The actor was also working on Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt at the time of his death.
He famously posed nude for a Cosmo magazine in 1972 on a bearskin rug, although he reportedly regretted the photo shoot years later, saying “It was really stupid. I don’t know what I was thinking. I really wish I hadn’t done that.”