Burt Reynolds : biography
Burton Leon "Burt" Reynolds, Jr.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEUfaYUwwk8 (born February 11, 1936) is an American actor, director and voice artist. Some of his notable roles include Bo ‘Bandit’ Darville in Smokey and the Bandit, Lewis Medlock in Deliverance, Bobby "Gator" McCluskey in White Lightning and sequel Gator, Charlie B. Barkin in All Dogs Go To Heaven, Coach Nate Scarborough in The Longest Yard and Jack Horner in Boogie Nights.
The Florida State Drama Award included a scholarship to the Hyde Park Playhouse, a summer stock theater, in Hyde Park, New York. Reynolds saw the opportunity as an agreeable alternative to more physically demanding summer jobs, but did not yet see acting as a career. While working at Hyde Park, Reynolds met Joanne Woodward, who helped Reynolds find an agent, and was cast in Tea and Sympathy at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. He received favorable reviews for his performance and went on tour with Tea and Sympathy, driving the bus as well as appearing on stage.Reynolds. Pp. 59-63.
After the tour Reynolds returned to New York and enrolled in acting classes. His classmates included Frank Gifford, Carol Lawrence, Red Buttons and Jan Murray. After a botched improvisation in acting class, Reynolds briefly considered returning to Florida, but he soon got a part in a revival of Mister Roberts, with Charlton Heston as the star. After the play closed, the director, John Forsythe, arranged a movie audition with Joshua Logan for Reynolds. The movie was Sayonara, and Reynolds was told he couldn’t be in the movie because he looked too much like Marlon Brando. Logan advised Reynolds to go to Hollywood, but Reynolds did not feel confident enough to do so.Reynolds. Pp. 63-5.
Reynolds began working odd jobs while waiting for acting opportunities. He waited tables, washed dishes, drove a delivery truck and worked as a bouncer at the Roseland Ballroom. It was while working as a dockworker that Reynolds was offered $150 to jump through a glass window on a live television show.Reynolds. Pp. 65-7. He made his Broadway debut in Look, We’ve Come Through. Reynolds first starred on television with Darren McGavin in the 1959-1961 NBC series, Riverboat.
On June 11, 1959, Reynolds portrayed Tony Sapio with Ruta Lee as Gloria Fallon in the episode entitled "The Payoff" of NBC’s 1920s crime drama, The Lawless Years. In 1960-1961, he appeared in two episodes of the syndicated series The Blue Angels, about elite fliers of the United States Navy.
On November 11, 1959, Reynolds was cast with Whitney Blake and Howard McNear in the episode "The Good Samaritan" of the syndicated western series, Pony Express, starring Grant Sullivan, which aired in 1960 on the centennial of the primitive mail exchange service.
About this time, Reynolds guest starred in the syndicated crime drama, The Brothers Brannagan in the episode "Bordertown". He went on to appear in a number of other shows, including three segments of the Ron Hayes syndicated adventure series, The Everglades. He is remembered too for the role of Quint Asper, the blacksmith/ de facto deputy, and half-Native American on CBS’s Gunsmoke from 1962–1965. In 1962, Reynolds secured a guest appearance on Perry Mason in "The Case of the Counterfeit Crank". In 1963, he played a character named Rocky in The Twilight Zone episode 155 "The Bard," in which he amusingly lampooned his then-lookalike Marlon Brando. In 1965, he guest-starred as Technical Sergeant Chapman, a Flight Engineer in the second season episode 7, "Show Me A Hero" of ABC’s 12 O-Clock High.
Reynolds’s film debut came in 1961 in Angel Baby. At the urging of friend Clint Eastwood, Reynolds used his TV fame to secure leading roles in overseas low-budget films, commonly called "Spaghetti Westerns". (Eastwood advised Reynolds from experience, as he had done the same). Reynolds’ first Spaghetti Western, Navajo Joe, came out in 1966. These low-budget starring roles established Reynolds as a bankable leading man in movies and earned him starring roles in American big-budget motion pictures. During this period, he starred in two short-lived cop shows: Hawk and Dan August. He disparaged these shows, telling Johnny Carson that Dan August had "two forms of expression: "mean and meaner." His breakout performance in Deliverance in 1972 made him a star. The same year, Reynolds gained notoriety when he posed naked in the April (Vol. 172, No. 4) issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine. Reynolds claims the centerfold in Cosmopolitan hurt the chances for Deliverance and the film’s stars, including himself, from receiving Academy Awards.