Burt Reynolds has passed away at the age of 82 from cardiac arrest. He was married twice: first to actress Judy Carne and then to actress Loni Anderson. He and Loni Anderson adopted a son together — Quinton Anderson — who is Burt Reynolds’ only child. Anderson and Reynolds had an acrimonious divorce, but Anderson was the one that Reynolds turned to after his sister passed away in 2011. Here is everything you need to know about Loni Anderson and her marriage to Burt Reynolds.
1. Burt Reynolds & Loni Anderson Got Married in a Chapel that Burt Built, After Dating for Six Years, & Adopted a Son
From 1988 to 1993, Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson were married after dating for six years, People reported in 1988. You can see People’s album of their wedding here. Their wedding was a “top-secret ceremony” at Reynolds’ 160-acre BR Horse Ranch in Florida. They invited 65 guests and were married in a chapel that Reynolds built three years earlier, with their wedding in mind. Her bridesmaids were her sister, Andrew Sams, and her daughter, Deidra Hoffman. Her parents were deceased already, so Burt Reynolds’ father gave her away. The reception was held in the ranch’s airport hangar, which was decorated with 100 trees and had 12 tables with dogwood and lilac centerpieces. Their wedding cake was a three-tiered, heart-shaped cake with yellow layers and white frosting, People reported.
Reynolds and Anderson first met at the Merv Griffin Show in 1981, People reported. Anderson had already been married twice and Reynolds once. Reynolds was 52 and Anderson was 41 when they were married.
They adopted Quinton during their first year of marriage, right after Quinton was born. Reynolds was 52 when he adopted Quinton.
Reynolds and Anderson wanted a biological child of their own, but that wasn’t in the cards for them. According to a birth announcement in the Palm Beach Post, Anderson would have had more kids if she could have. “I love kids,” she said. “If Ih’d been with the right man when I was younger, I’d have four.” Anderson already had a 23-year-old daughter, Deidra Hoffman, when she adopted Quinton.
When Reynolds and Anderson divorced, Reynolds and his son had a tough spot, but they worked through it. Anderson got custody of Quinton after the divorce and always insisted a nanny be present when 7-year-old Quinton visited his dad because of Reynolds’ erratic behavior, SFGate reported in 1995. Anderson said in an autobiography that his behavior was due to Percodan he took for pain, Valium for anxiety, and Compazine for the other drugs’ side effects.
2. Anderson Said that Reynolds Was Abusive To Her While They Were Married, He Said that She Cheated on Him. In 2014, She Auctioned Everything Burt Had Ever Given Her.
Reynolds’ and Anderson’s divorce has been called one of the ugliest divorces of all time. Reynolds accused Anderson of cheating on him, and she accused Reynolds of being abusive toward her. A 1995 article by SFGate delved into some of their accusations. The story said that Reynolds threw Anderson out of their home when he served her divorce papers and accused her of cheating on him and being a bad mother to their son. In 1995, she said that Reynolds had abused her while they were married. She said in an autobiography that he sometimes beat her and left bruises all over her body except for her face, and this was because of the prescription drugs he was taking at the time for anxiety and pain. She said right before their divorce, he handed her a gun “and told me to shoot myself and do us all a favor. I was terrified.”
She also shared more details of the divorce in 1995. She said her settlement included their $2.5 million, 6,500-square foot home and $15,000-a-month in child support.
At the age of 79, Reynolds told People that marrying Anderson had been a mistake. “I should have known that you don’t marry an actress… That was a really dumb move on my part.” He said that Anderson “bought everything in triplicate” including dresses, china, and jewelry. He said he gave her a credit card with a $45,000 limit and she maxed it out in half an hour. But Anderson’s first husband, Bruce Hasselberg, told the Star Tribune that he didn’t remember her that way.
Before they broke up, Reynolds used to shower millions of dollars worth of gifts on Anderson, ET reported. These gifts included diamonds, paintings, and furs. But in 2014, when she auctioned off everything Reynolds had given her, she didn’t say it was because of anger, ET reported. She just said that she wanted to scale back because she had too much stuff and needed to share it. “What are we gonna do with all this stuff? Do you have a museum for yourself? No. And so what are you gonna do with it? Share it,” she said.
Reynolds was also auctioning 600 items of his own at the same time.
Before the auction in 2014, Reynolds had paid $155,000 to Anderson that he stilled owed her from their divorce settlement, 20 years after the divorce. But the two said there were no more hard feelings between them. Anderson told ET at the time: “If it’s a messy divorce, then you need a break and you go back and you go, ‘Well there wasn’t 12 terrible years. There was just that end.’ So you go back and start thinking, ‘Oh, I remember that! Oh, we laughed so hard! Oh, that was so fun!'”
Despite how messy their divorce was, Anderson was still the one that Reynolds turned to after his sister died. Burt Reynolds’ sister, Nancy Brown, lived to be 81. She passed away on March 23, 2011 of Alzheimer’s, Express reported. Although Reynolds and Loni Anderson were already divorced when his sister died, he turned to her for comfort because he took his sister’s death very hard. “Loni was the first person Burt called for comfort after Nancy Ann died. He was taking it very hard,” a source said.
3. Anderson Was Married Twice Before Reynolds & Married Her Current Husband in 2008
Before Reynolds and Anderson were married, Anderson had already been married twice, People reported. Her first marriage was when she was 18. She married Bruce Hasselberg, brother of another Miss Minnesota beauty pageant contestant. They were married for three months and divorced while she was pregnant with Deidra. She moved back in with her family after the divorce.
Hasselberg was smitten with Anderson almost immediately. He was a real estate broker while they were married and proposed on their first date, the Star Tribune reported. He and Anderson stayed close and Anderson even attended his mom’s 90th birthday party in 2008.
Then in 1974, she married actor Ross Bickell.
In 2008, she married musician Bob Flick, a founding member of The Brothers Four. They first met in 1963 at a movie premiere, and they reunited in 2003 and rekindled their romance.
4. Anderson’s Daughter, Deidra, Has Multiple Sclerosis
Hasselberg told the Star Tribune that their daughter, Deidra Hoffman, was forced to retire because of MS. Deidra was 23 when Anderson adopted Quinton Reynolds. She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2009. Her early symptoms were a tingling in her spine and numb fingers, Closer Weekly reported. She was a busy mom with two teen girls at the time.
Anderson said that she fell apart when her daughter was diagnosed. “I mean, I didn’t want to fall apart in front of her because I knew she was struggling to just maintain herself, but it was very difficult to come to grips with.”
5. Anderson Rose to Fame Thanks to Starring in ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’
Loni Anderson was born to Maxine Hazel and Klaydon Carl ‘Andy’ Anderson in 1946. She was popular in high school, voted Valentine Queen when she was a senior. She rose to fame thanks to playing the role of receptionist Jennifer Marlowe on the CBS TV show WKRP in Cincinnati. She starred in the role from 1978 to 1982 and won three Golden Globes and had two Emmy nominations.
Before that, she first started acting when she had a small role in Nevada Smith with Steve McQueen. She then appeared in shows like S.W.A.T., Phyllis, and Police Woman. She guest-starred as Susan Walters on Three’s Company, despite not getting the lead role of Chrissy. WKRP had a strong and loyal following, which helped her get the lead role on the CBS TV movie The Jayne Mansfield Story. She’s also starred in numerous movies.