September 6th, 2018 marked a difficult day for “Smokey and the Bandit” fans across the world with the announcement of Burt Reynolds’ passing. Fans often refer to him as one of the last “greats” in the world of cinema. Oscar nominations and a Golden Globe also speak to just how well-received the star’s work was. Actually, the star followed his passions for a lifetime, working right up until his very final moments. While gearing up to run lines for a project he was working on, Reynolds, unfortunately, succumbed to a heart attack.
While several tributes emerged in the aftermath of his passing, this newest sculpture is sure to elicit a lot of nostalgia. The Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles hosted an entire event to unveil the new bronze sculpture at his resting site. We think it’s the perfect “Smokey and the Bandit” tribute. Don’t just take our word for it, though. You’ll want to check it out for yourself.
The Burt Reynolds Sculpture Unveiling
The cremated remains of Burt Reynolds made their way to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles in February of this year. The location hosted a small ceremony then and another one more recently with the unveiling of their new tribute to the late star.
The event involved a screening of some of the actor’s best work and tickets were given away for free to fans with prior reservations. Hollywood Forever called Reynolds a hero for his “Southern charm combined with a progressive attitude towards women, race, and sexuality.”
The sculpture is a life-size bronze bust of Burt Reynolds, complete with his iconic ‘stache and cowboy hat. His ex-wife, Loni Anderson, made an appearance and helped with the ceremony. She and Reynolds shared a relationship that lasted from ’88-’94 and led to the birth of their son, Quinton. During the ceremony, Loni asked the audience: “Anybody else want to touch him?”
The artist behind the sculpture, Caroline P.M. Jones, responded: “Yes, he’s made to be touched!”
His place of rest within the ceremony was chosen directly by Loni and Quinton because it reminded them of his home back in Florida. The plot sits beside a palm tree and water with a plaque displaying his name.
One of the many attendees from the unveiling event shared some snaps of the night’s proceedings. He called the unveiling “a fitting tribute to a person who really was the last movie star.”
You can take a look right here:
Got to see the new doc “I Am Burt Reynolds” and his new monument @hwdforever tonight. Loni Anderson was also there to unveil the sculpture and intro the film. A fitting tribute to a person who really was the last movie star. #burtreynolds #iamburtreynolds pic.twitter.com/2JewQe14RQ— Mark Fullerton (@gomarkfullerton) September 21, 2021