Reynolds starred as Lewis Medlock, the intrepid leader of an ill-fated whitewater canoe trip. He later earned critical acclaim in the 1997 movie Boogie Nights, helping to re-launch his career.
And there's one thing they can never take away: "Nobody had more fun than I did".
Sally paid tribute to Burt, saying in a statement: "My years with Burt never leave my mind". He told Vanity Fair that he had "certain regrets and issues I've lived with". The couple adopted a son, Quinton. He said that his mom talks about me all the time. He continued to act into his old age, and his latest film, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood", is now filming and slated to premiere in 2019.
A better actor than he was often given credit for being, his filmography saw him careen from popular but easily dismissed action comedies - in which he often seemed to be playing a version of the easygoing charmer he appeared to be in real life - to more sophisticated and demanding fare, eventually achieving an advanced level of cool in Hollywood circles, albeit somewhat belatedly. "So sad hearing about the passing of Burt Reynolds", wrote Estrada.
In 2013, he was hospitalised and placed in intensive care for flu-like symptoms and dehydration.
"That was a big mistake on his part", Liakakis said of the man who attempted to hit Reynolds, one of the biggest movie stars of the 1970s and early 1980s. "I went home and shaved then had the operation the next day". At the time, his manager told CNN that he "has a great motor with brand new pipes". Reynolds also checked into a drug rehab clinic in 2009.
He signed a television contract in the late 1950s and landed regular roles in shows such as Gunsmoke and Dan August.
With his trademark mustache, rugged looks and macho aura, he was a leading male sex symbol of the 1970s. Although his movies were rarely popular with critics, at his peak he was the most popular actor in Hollywood.
The career of Burt Reynolds, centre, took off again after his Oscar-nominated performance in Boogie Nights in 1997.
As THE movie star of my childhood, the Bandit stole our hearts for decades.
He eventually regained his health, and in 1988 he married Anderson. Reynolds also generated attention for financial woes and his struggles with prescription pain medication.
The two actors met on the set of the 1977 film Smokey and the Bandit. He also appeared in the 2005 remake starring Adam Sandler.
Reynolds made his directing debut with 1976 action film Gator and 1978's black comedy The End.
He solidified his position as a rising film star with 1974 prison football drama The Longest Yard.
Other "70s icons like Erik Estrada, Dolly Parton and Billy Dee Williams said that Reynolds" presence, both onscreen and off, will be sorely missed.
If it had come out in a later era, it might have coloured Reynolds's career much more than it did: that grisly scene would be endlessly replayed on YouTube and discussed online.
Burt was born Burton Leon Reynolds Junior on February 11, 1936 in Lansing, Michigan, although he grew up in Florida. He played football at Florida State University in the 1950s before his professional football hopes were dashed by injuries suffered in a auto crash.
His acting career began on stage in NY in the 1950s.