He flaunted his sex appeal in 1972, posing rakishly on a bearskin rug as the first male nude (well, nearly) centerfold in Cosmopolitan magazine - a choice he later describes as "one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made".
He has one adult son, Quinton Anderson Reynolds, from his second marriage.
He played Lewis Medlock, one of four friends who canoe down a river in the Georgia wilderness and run into some locals who savagely attack them.
Other films during the 1970s included W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings, Fuzz, Shamus, The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, White Lightning, Hustle and Silent Movie. For a period during the "70s he was the nation's top box office draw".
Many of his films were set in the South.
Three years ago, he said during an interview that the love of his life was Sally Field, his co-star in "Smokey and the Bandit". For better or worse, those roles were tailor-made for Burt Reynolds.
Thirty-one years later, he appeared in a "Longest Yard" remake opposite Adam Sandler and Chris Rock.
After a successful run on television, Reynolds broke out on the big screen with his role in "Deliverance" (1972). The actor reportedly turned down the roles of both Han Solo in Star Wars and John McClane in Die Hard. That "was the closest to me, in terms of, I see myself in that character and it was a classic film", Reynolds told USA TODAY.
"My doctor said I needed to undergo bypass surgery immediately", he told People at the time. Baby Driver director Edgar Wright remembered Reynolds for his work as a dramatic actor and director.
Burton Leon Reynolds was born on February 11, 1936, in Lansing, Michigan, to parents Fern and Burton Milo Reynolds.
He began acting after enrolling in a junior college. Men are like that, you know.
The icon was also an author and singer, and he starred alongside Dolly Parton in the movie version of "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas".
His film career stalled in the mid-1980s with several misfires and he was never again a leading movie star. But when injuries derailed a promising athletic career, Reynolds turned to acting. He continued to appear in films in lesser but sometimes noteworthy roles.
Reynolds was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Boogie Nights in 1997. "It wasn't original. But if you have to steal, steal from the best".
Though Reynolds was the movie industry's highest-grossing actor between 1978 and 1982, his star dimmed throughout the decade after a string of sequels, box office flops, and a few personal issues related to his flamboyant lifestyle.