Burt Reynolds in Florida ICU after flu, rep says
(CNN) — Actor Burt Reynolds is in intensive care in a Florida hospital, where he went for treatment of flu symptoms, one of his representatives said Friday.
Reynolds was dehydrated when he went to the hospital, and was eventually transferred to its intensive care unit, his representative Erik Kritzer told CNN.
Kritzer declined to divulge what hospital the actor was in, saying, “He would like that (kept) private.”
“He is doing better at this time,” Kritzer said late Friday afternoon of the 76-year-old actor. “We expect, as soon as he gets more fluids, he will be back in a regular room.”
Born in southern Georgia, Reynolds and his family moved to Michigan and eventually to southeastern Florida, according to his profile on the website of the Florida Artist Hall of Fame, in which he was inducted in 1993. At Palm Beach High School, he first made a name for himself as a football star and earned an athletic scholarship to Florida State University.
When injuries derailed his promising athletic career, Reynolds turned to acting. He scored small parts in the late 1950s, then broke through a few years later in the role of Quint on the TV series “Gunsmoke.”
His career took another leap with the 1972 release of “Deliverance,” in which he played an Atlanta businessman exploring the remote north Georgia wilderness with friends. “The Longest Yard” came out two years later, starring Reynolds as an ex-football player who lands in prison.
These roles earned Reynolds’ fame and box office mojo, all while he gained the reputation as a ladies man connected with some of Hollywood’s most eligible actresses.
His charismatic notoriety soared through the late 1970s and into the 1980s, during which he spearheaded the “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Cannonball Run” movie franchises. He earned a People’s Choice Award in 1979, 1982 and 1983 as all-around male entertainer of the year, and was picked as favorite motion picture actor on that show in 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983 and 1984.
While his popularity waned relatively, Reynolds continued to score movie and TV roles into the 1990s. That included on “Evening Shade,” where he earned an Emmy in 1991 playing Wood Newton — once again, a former football player.
His lone Oscar nomination came in 1998, in the best supporting actor category, for his portrayal of pornographic film producer Jack Horner in the film “Boogie Nights.”
Aside from his acting, Reynolds cultivated a prominent public profile through TV commercials, public appearances and more. He also developed a reputation as a philanthropist, especially in his home state of Florida, where he helped found the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre.