Hollywood star Burt Reynolds dies at 82

Burt Reynolds, left, discusses a scene with director Paul Bogart during location shooting of the ABC-TV series ‘Hawk,’ in New York, in 1966. Reynolds, who starred in films including ‘Deliverance,’ ‘Boogie Nights,’ and the ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ films, has died at the age of 82. (AP Photo)
Updated 06 September 2018
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Hollywood star Burt Reynolds dies at 82

  • Reynolds was one of the most bankable actors in the film industry in the 1970s, reeling off a series of box office smashes
  • He often played a lovable rascal who outwits local authorities as in director Hal Needham’s 1977 crowd-pleasing action comedy Smokey and the Bandit

NEW YORK: Burt Reynolds, whose good looks and charm made him one of Hollywood’s most popular actors as he starred in films such as “Deliverance,” “The Longest Yard” and “Smokey and the Bandit” in the 1970s and ‘80s, died on Thursday age of 82, The Hollywood Reporter said, citing his manager.
At the peak of his career, Reynolds was one of the most bankable actors in the film industry, reeling off a series of box office smashes until a career downturn in the mid-1980s. He rebounded in 1997 with a nomination for a best supporting actor Academy Award for “Boogie Nights” and won an Emmy Award for his role in the 1990-1994 TV series “Evening Shade.”
With his trademark mustache, rugged looks and macho aura, he was a leading actor in the 1970s. 
Reynolds’ personal life sometimes overshadowed his movies, with marriages that ended in divorce to actresses Loni Anderson and Judy Carne and romances with others, including Sally Field and Dinah Shore. Reynolds also generated attention for financial woes and his struggles with prescription pain medication.
Reynolds cited director John Boorman’s Oscar-nominated 1972 “Deliverance” as his best film. He played tough-guy Lewis Medlock — opposite Jon Voight, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox — in the chilling tale of a canoe trip gone bad in rural Georgia.
He starred in dozens of films, also including “White Lightning” (1973), “W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings” (1975), “Hustle” (1975), “Nickelodeon” (1976) and “Semi-Tough” (1977). He was the top money-making star at the box office in an annual poll of movie exhibitors 1978 through 1982.
Many of his films were set in the South. He often played a lovable rascal who outwits local authorities as in director Hal Needham’s 1977 crowd-pleasing action comedy “Smokey and the Bandit,” co-starring his girlfriend Field and Jackie Gleason, and its two sequels.
Another of his better roles was that of former a pro quarterback who lands in prison and assembles a team of convicts to play the warden’s squad of brutal prison guards in 1974’s rollicking “The Longest Yard,” directed by Robert Aldrich. He appeared in a supporting role 2005’s remake with Adam Sandler.
Reynolds also directed several movies in which he starred, including “Gator” (1976), “The End” (1978), “Sharky’s Machine” (1981) and “Stick” (1985).
While some of his performances were critically praised, others were ridiculed, particularly in the bloated action comedy “Cannonball Run II,” a sequel to his financial success “The Cannonball Run” (1981). He also starred in the notorious 1975 musical flop “At Long Last Love,” a film so atrocious that director Peter Bogdanovich publicly apologized for making it.
Reynolds turned down notable roles including Han Solo in “Star Wars,” which went to Harrison Ford; the title role in a James Bond film; and the astronaut in “Terms of Endearment” that Jack Nicholson turned into an Oscar-winning performance.
Reynolds said in 2012 that he regretted some of his film choices. “I took the part that was the most fun — ‘Oh, this will be fun.’ I didn’t take the part that would be the most challenging,” told television interviewer Piers Morgan in 2012.
Asked to come up with his own epitaph, Reynolds said, “He lived a hell of a life, and did his best — his very best — not to hurt anybody.”
Burton Leon Reynolds Jr. was born on Feb. 11, 1936, and grew up in Florida. He was a fine athlete and played football at Florida State University in the 1950s before his professional football hopes were dashed by injuries suffered in a car crash.
He began acting after enrolling in a junior college. He moved to New York and landed minor stage and TV roles before making his film debut in 1961. Reynolds often was cast in Westerns, including the popular “Gunsmoke” television series in the 1960s.
In 1972, the same year “Deliverance” was released, he showed versatility by also starring in Woody Allen’s comedy “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask.”
Reynolds starred in romantic comedies as well, including “Starting Over” (1979) with Jill Clayburgh and Candice Bergen, and in the musical comedy “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” (1982) with Dolly Parton.
His film career stalled in the mid-1980s with several misfires and he was never again a leading movie star.
Reynolds turned to television and had a successful run on the situation comedy “Evening Shade,” co-starring Marilu Henner and Charles Durning. He continued to appear in films in lesser but sometimes noteworthy roles.
He earned his only career Oscar nomination in director Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights” (1997), starring Mark Wahlberg.
He experienced some health issues later in his life. He underwent quintuple heart bypass surgery in 2010 and was hospitalized in intensive care in 2013 with the flu.


Shh...! South Korea hushes for crucial university entrance exam

Updated 16 min 41 sec ago
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Shh...! South Korea hushes for crucial university entrance exam

  • This year nearly 595,000 students are sitting the grueling exam, which stretches over nine hours
  • The results of the daunting exam will be released on December 5

SEOUL: South Korea dialed down the volume on Thursday as hundreds of thousands of students sat a crucial national university entrance exam, with authorities taking extraordinary measures to minimize possible distractions.
The college entrance test is the culmination of South Korea’s highly demanding school system, and in an ultra-competitive society it plays a large part in defining students’ adult lives, holding the key to top universities, elevated social status, good jobs, and even marriage prospects.
This year nearly 595,000 students were sitting the grueling exam, which stretches over nine hours, according to the education ministry.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who was in Singapore for regional summits, posted a good luck message to the students on his Facebook page.
The intense effort they had put in over years of study was coming to fruition, he said. “Believe in it and you will be able to show your full competence.”
Extraordinary measures are taken nationwide to remove anything that could disturb the test-takers.
Public offices, major businesses and the stock market opened an hour later than usual to help ease traffic and ensure students arrived on time for the exam, which began nationwide at 8:40am.
Any students stuck in traffic could get police cars and motorbikes to rush them to the exam centers.
All takeoffs and landings at South Korean airports are suspended for 25 minutes to coincide with an English listening test, and all airborne planes must maintain an altitude higher than 3,000 meters (10,000 feet).
The Transport Ministry said 134 flights had to be rescheduled because of the exam.
Electronics are strictly forbidden and students cannot leave school premises until the test ends to reduce the chances of cheating.
But they will be allowed to wear masks during the exam this year, the education ministry said, with fine dust pollution levels persisting at “bad” on the peninsula.
The results of the daunting exam will be released on December 5.