Burt Reynolds: Details Revealed on How the Iconic Actor Spent His Final Night Alive

by Emily Morgan

We now know how legendary actor Burt Reynolds spent his final few moments here on Earth. 

According to the acclaimed director, Quentin Tarantino, Reynolds, who cast the legendary actor in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, died happily. 

Before he passed away on Sept. 6, 2018, Tarantino pegged Burt Reynolds to play a part in the Oscar-winning film. However, Reynolds died just before he was set to shoot his scenes. Reynolds died from a heart attack in Jupiter, Fla., at the age of 82.

During a recent interview with “CBS Sunday Morning,” Tarantino describes getting the chance to rehearse with the Boogie Nights star. “I’m officially the last role he played because he came to the script reading. So, that was his last acting,” Tarantino told the show’s co-host, Tracy Smith. “In fact, not only that, the night he died, what he was doing before he passed on, is he was running lines with his assistant. That’s, like, sad and beautiful at the same time.”

Tarantino on Burt Reynolds: ‘Definitely Happy When He Passed On’

According to the Pulp Fiction director, Burt Reynolds was “so happy” about being cast in the movie. “I can honestly say he died happy,” he added. “I’m not saying he died happy because of me. But he was happy. He was definitely happy when he passed on.”

In the two-time Oscar winner’s movie, Reynolds was set to play George Spahn, the 80-year-old blind owner of the ranch where Charles Manson spent time. Bruce Dern played the part instead.

Tarantino has recently been on a publicity tour to promote his first novel that expands upon Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Although Tarantino is no stranger to writing scripts, however, as he describes, penning a book is a different experience. As he told Smith, he was relieved to be done with the novel once he finished writing. 

“It’s like this whole process. You know, it’s a fun process. And it’s a wonderful way to live a life,” Tarantino explained. “I’m not making it sound like it’s a bad thing. I’m very fortunate to have the situation to do that. But the idea of putting your heart and soul into a piece of writing, and then when you’re done, you’re done? That’s, that’s amazing.”

As for Burt Reynolds, two of his film were released posthumously. The Smokey and the Bandit star appeared in An Innocent Kiss in 2019 and Defining Moments in 2020. 

Just hours before his death, Reynolds described his pride about acting in an interview. According to Reynolds, the actor was “really proud” of his films in his last days. “You have to be given the parts before you can take the chances,” Reynolds told the Fort Myers Florida Weekly. “I’m being given the parts now.”