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 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 8:50 AM   
 By:   King Solium   (Member)

Everyone knows Burt Reynolds. One of Hollywood's biggest leading men in the 60's and 70's. By the 80's America love affair with Burt was over. Sure he was getting older, sure like most big stars he probably had an ego the size of the planet. But what turned the public off?

He never went on a talk show and jumped up and down on a sofa like a crazy man. To my knowledge he hasn't become a drug addict, nor ever driven his car into trees and houses, punch fans or reporters, or go on any anti semitic rants.

Yet, critics and the general public fell out of love with Burt. But more than that, there seems to be a public disdain for him. People groan when ever he resurfaces for a cameo. That's been my perception since the 90's. People seem to make him the has been butt of all jokes and clearly enjoy it.

With the return of the "grandpa action hero vehicle" that is "The Expendables", it makes this attitude towards Burt all the more bewildering.

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 8:59 AM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

Interesting question. I've wondered this, too. By the early '80s, his movies were bombing one after the other. Granted, several of them were not good, but I still don't get the total dismissal that occurred. And even in the late '90s when he had the brief return to glory from Boogie Nights, everything pooped out again quickly thereafter and it was as if Boogie Nights never happened. It's like people just decided he wasn't worth their time anymore, which I really don't get.

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 9:05 AM   
 By:   Ny   (Member)

i'd say you guys are paying too much attention to the press. they have to write about something.

burt was the quintessential star-vehicle guy, he didn't care too much what he was in, but occassionally gave good performances in good movies, same as now. what does it matter what anyone else has to say about him. the dude was cool.

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 9:09 AM   
 By:   King Solium   (Member)

I was wondering if I just "missed" something. Apparently not. While he had a career most could only dream of, its sad the way he is perceived nowadays.

Edit: Nyborg- didn't see your post until after I made this one.

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 9:41 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

I was always a fan, but why did he have all the plastic surgery? He was a good looking man & would have been a good looking older man. He looks a bit cat-like now, a bit like Joan Rivers twin brother, & that can't be right. I get the impression that he got a bit grumpy as he got older, but that's only an impression, I don't know him.

A Blu-ray of HOOPER please!

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 9:49 AM   
 By:   Heath   (Member)

Reynold's fame was like a big soap bubble - big but deceptively fragile.

I think audiences needed a "Burt Reynolds type" in their entertainment menu - twinkle-eyed, smugly humorous, cocksure, macho, action movie guy etc. But the fact is that the movies stank pretty much. I think a resentment built up at the back of audiences' minds for that. Yet Burt Reynolds was the only "Burt Reynolds type" in town. That sustained him.... until Bruce Willis came along.

Bruce did ALL of the Burt Reynolds stuff, plus he was younger. The movies were still trashy, but they were exceptionally well made trash.

Moral of the story: if you're going to make trash, make it good trash.

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 9:50 AM   
 By:   Saul Pincus   (Member)

To my knowledge he hasn't become a drug addict

Actually, Reynolds had a major cocaine problem in the late 70s through the early 80s. Hal Needham (Burt's stuntman and then director of choice) details this in his recent autobiography "Stuntman!"

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 10:11 AM   
 By:   robby   (Member)

I still love Shamus. That opening scene of him waking up hungover on the pool table with the girl cracks me up every time...

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 11:27 AM   
 By:   Jameson281   (Member)

Everyone knows Burt Reynolds. One of Hollywood's biggest leading men in the 60's and 70's. By the 80's America love affair with Burt was over. Sure he was getting older, sure like most big stars he probably had an ego the size of the planet. But what turned the public off?

Making several awful movies in a row may have contributed to it.

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 11:31 AM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)

Silly me thought this was going to be about why Burt Reynolds married or dated women that the OP thought were unappealing... big grin

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 11:36 AM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)

I think Jameson and Heath have good answers.

Plus there might have been other issues about people not working with him for reasonable or unreasonable reasons. Hollywood is a very social business and when a person is on the outs socially for some reason, it can tell in what work they can get.

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 11:48 AM   
 By:   BobJ   (Member)

There is so much to Burt's story that it makes it almost difficult to put it all here. One of the biggest things I remember hurting Burt's career in the 80's was the scandal that surrounded his separation and eventual divorce from Loni Anderson. There were endless accusations about affairs, which Burt did admit to, and even a few about abuse (which were never proven). Then Burt was badly burned in an accident involving baby powder exploding near and open flame. The blast burned Burt's face badly and he had to under go surgery to fix the damage. His face never quite looked the same which I also believe hurt his over-all image.

Then came the endless string of flops:

Cannonball Run II '84

City Heat '84

Stick '85 (A movie I actually like)

Heat '86

Malone '87

Rent-A-Cop '87

Switching Channels '88

Physical Evidence '89


After this many bombs and incidents, it's really not hard to see how he never recovered his career.

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 12:07 PM   
 By:   tex1272   (Member)

Don't forget STROKER ACE (1983).

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 12:11 PM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

Don't forget STROKER ACE (1983).

A (very) guilty pleasure!

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 12:31 PM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

I remember as I was just getting seriously into films, around the Jaws, Star Wars, CE3K era, he kept churning out shit/hick/redneck car-chase/action comedies that I couldn't stand.
However, I'll always remember him for Deliverance, which will never be a bad thing.
Plus, I have a soft spot for Malone, but a lot of that is probably due to David Newman's fantastic score!

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 12:32 PM   
 By:   King Solium   (Member)

All interesting replies. I am sure some if not many of the points noted contributed to his decline in popularity.

That said, take an actor like Dennis Quaid. Never really made it as the leading man, yet made countless and I mean countless films where he was the leading man. Most of his projects failed, yet no one holds the same animosity towards him. Jennifer Aniston keeps working yet has hardly ever made a well received film.

I didn't know he had drug problems but I am pretty confident that those drug problems didn't impair his ability to perform like today's young stars with drug issues. (Lindsay Lohan)

Perhaps the underlying problem was he became to difficult to deal with? I know most of you don't follow the animation scene but I was recently reading a book about his work on "All Dogs Go To Heaven". He was very difficult to work with, didn't want to take suggestions from the director and had a very short fuse. He was doing voice recordings with his good friend Dom Deluise (RIP) and Dom had to step in and get Burt under control, relaxed and less hostile towards the process.

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 1:01 PM   
 By:   Heath   (Member)

Perhaps the underlying problem was he became to difficult to deal with?

I think that's what davidinberkeley was more or less saying too. I remember what David Raksin said about Hitchcock - that he'd given a lot of people a fair amount of shit for years, but while he was still making important, successful films they would put up with it. However, when he started making flops... out came the knives!

Old showbiz cliche #2: Always be nice to them on your way up because you may meet them on your way down.

BTW.... old Hollywood cliches #1: Always get your money upfront. wink

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 1:03 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Yes, Burt Reynolds, serial shagger of beautiful actresses, multi-millionaire, hanging around the ranches of Eastwood and Lee Majors - where did it all go wrong????!!

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 10:09 PM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

I've liked most of the Burt Reynolds films I've seen, and even his tv work (including B. L. Stryker and Night Shade). He is a man's man of the old school, far from perfect to be sure, but a guy with a lot of heart and a great sense of humor. His much-ridiculed relationship with the older Dinah Shore reflected sensitivity and emotional depth beyond the image of the compulsive skirt-chaser that some hold of him. While his mistakes are only too well known, I hope on balance people will give him the credit he's due, including the ability to entertain audiences, demonstrated so many times during the salad days of his career. He never claimed to be Laurence Olivier, but he was a sympathetic and likeable leading man and he more often than not gave us enjoyment.

 Posted:   Aug 10, 2012 - 10:25 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

It's all been mentioned above. He did lowbrow movies, thought he was cute, but just came off as smarmy. He thought women worshiped him, and oddly, that men admired and emulated him.

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