HomeEntertainment‘Smokey and the Bandit’ Icon Burt Reynolds Finally Buried More Than 2 Years After His Death

‘Smokey and the Bandit’ Icon Burt Reynolds Finally Buried More Than 2 Years After His Death

by Josh Lanier
(Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

The cremated remains of Burt Reynolds were laid to rest last week at the Hollywood Forever cemetery. The beloved actor and icon died more than two and a half years ago.

It’s not clear at the moment why it took so long to bury his remains there, but his family gathered for the ceremony on Thursday on what would have been his 85th birthday. Many attended via Zoom because of the pandemic. Currently, there’s only a smaller marker at the burial location. However, Hollywood Forever president and co-owner Tyler Cassity told The Associated Press the cemetery plans to unveil a bronze bust of the actor on the third anniversary of his death in September. The cemetery is the final resting place for a number of celebrities.

Reynolds died in 2018 after years of failing health. Though, he was working up until his death.

“He has had health issues, however, this was totally unexpected,” Reynolds’ niece Nancy Lee Hess said in a statement at the time. “He was tough. Anyone who breaks their tailbone on a river and finishes the movie is tough. And that’s who he was. My uncle was looking forward to working with Quentin Tarantino (in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) and the amazing cast that was assembled.”

Reynolds was set to play the real-life George Spahn, owner of Spahn Ranch where the so-called Manson family lived. Bruce Dern ended up playing the role in the film.

Friends and family gathered at a tavern called E.R. Bradley’s Saloon after the service to honor the late actor, People said.

“He was a real person and he loved these kinds of casual watering holes,” a source told the magazine.

Burt Reynolds: Cultural Icon of the 70s and 80s

Burt Reynolds was one of the most popular and in-demand actors of the 70s and 80s. His mustache and cavalier swagger made him a sex symbol and icon. But his charm and charisma made him undeniably cool and fun to watch on screen.

He’s best known for films such as “Smokey and the Bandit,” “Deliverance,” and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” with Dolly Parton. He also starred in the prestige drama “Boogie Nights.” His work on the film resulted in an Oscar nomination.

Reynolds’ career stretched on for decades and include more than 100 film roles and even more television appearances. He got his start in 1958 on the NBC show Riverboat. His first big role was on Gunsmoke, which he appeared on for more than 2 years.

But he wasn’t originally meant for Hollywood glamour. Born in Florida, Reynolds was a standout football player at Florida State and had hopes of playing in the NFL. However, he was seriously injured in a car crash in 1958 and had to give up that dream, the New York Times wrote in his obituary. He fell in love with acting after that and moved to New York.