The film - infamous for its hillbilly male rape scene - earned three Oscar nominations for best picture, best director and best editing.
But he also had more than his share of flops and tabloid moments, including an acrimonious divorce from former TV star Loni Anderson and a almost nude centerfold in Cosmopolitan magazine.
He had one son, Quinton Anderson Reynolds.
Reynolds was continuing to work as an actor at the time of his death.
"I've been very, very lucky through ups and downs". The same year Woody Allen cast him in a small comedic role in his film Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex. Working beside you and seeing firsthand what a movie star was like when cameras were and were not rolling was truly instructive.
In the early 1970s, director John Boorman was impressed by how confidently Reynolds handled himself when subbing for Carson as host of "The Tonight Show".
Field had been more tight-lipped about her feelings about Reynolds and their former romance.
"We don't really talk to each other, no", she shared. "Here's a guy who was the biggest box-office star for over a decade and all of a sudden he was doing something that I think he felt was a little dirty and low".
The Chicago Sun-Times's Roger Ebert and the New York Times's Janet Maslin agreed that his portrayal of Jack Horner was a career highlight: "Burt Reynolds rises to this occasion by giving his best and most suavely amusing performance in many years", the latter wrote, adding that he gave Jack "an extra edge by playing a swaggering, self-important figure very close to the bone".
His breakout performance in film came in 1972 when he starred in Deliverance, the harrowing tale of four men who are attacked while canoeing in the backwoods of Georgia.
Reynolds said in 2012 that he regretted some of his film choices. "But it was a very hard picture to make it".
Reynolds starred as Lewis Medlock, the intrepid leader of an ill-fated whitewater canoe trip.
Reynolds went on to make a number of blockbuster movies, including the Smokey and the Bandit films, The Longest Yard, and Semi-Tough.
Musician Richard Marx retold a story about when he met Reynolds in a video story. "It had some lovely women and all the good things".
Reynolds landed several series starring roles, mostly in Westerns, starting with "Riverboat" in 1959. The smile, the mustache, the twinkle in his eye. without them, would anyone have buckled up for that bootlegging run from Texarkana to Atlanta? "He smiled so big and shook my hand and said, "You made my day". "You can only lie and say I wouldn't do things differently".
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