R.I.P. Burt Reynolds Feb 11, 1936 – Sep 06, 2018.
Burt Reynolds may be best known for his career in Hollywood but the actor’s talents reached far beyond Tinseltown. The Oscar-nominated star, who died Thursday at age 82, didn’t limit himself to the big screen.
Before his movie career skyrocketed in the ’70s, Reynolds was known for his athleticism. When a career in football didn’t pan out, he turned to acting — while also dabbling in music.
Read on for a some quick fun facts about the late actor you may not be aware of.
He got a scholarship to play football
Reynolds played for the Florida State Seminoles in the 1950s.
The future star “began his Florida State football career with a 33-yard pass reception against the Georgia Bulldogs as a freshman in 1954,” the team states on its website. “A knee injury forced him from the lineup in mid-season and he missed the entire 1955 campaign following surgery.”
But Reynolds soon got back in the game.
“He returned to Florida State in 1957 but once again was sidelined by injury, which ended a promising career,” the Seminoles added.
The team paid tribute to Reynolds by sharing an image of him in uniform.
“RIP Burt. ,” the team wrote.
He repeatedly turned down ‘Boogie Nights’
Reynolds received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of adult film director Jack Horner in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1997 flick “Boogie Nights.”
The actor later admitted he almost didn’t take on the famous role, which snagged him his only Academy Award nomination. During a 2018 “Conan” appearance, Reynolds revealed he turned down the project seven different times.
“I have a hard time with that whole – to use another adjective – I have a difficult time looking,” he told host Conan O’Brien. “It just wasn’t my kind of film.”
“The subject matter of making pornographic films and all that, it made you uncomfortable?” O’Brien asked.
“It did. It made me very uncomfortable. ‘Cause I was afraid they might recognize me,” Reynolds said, as the audience roared with laughter.
He was a country artist
Reynolds’ album, titled, “Ask Me What I Am” came out in 1973.
Rolling Stone recently described it as “congenial-but-slight.”
Music critic Robert Christgau once gave the release an “E+” grade, Taste of Countryreports.
He could have played Han Solo
Reynolds opened up to Business Insider in 2016 about not taking the part in the original 1977 hit movie “Star Wars.”
“I just didn’t want to play that kind of role at the time,” he told the outlet. “Now I regret it. I wish I would have done it.”
Harrison Ford ultimately played the intergalactic smuggler.
Reynolds also spoke about the choice in a “Watch What Happens Live” segment with Andy Cohen, where he opened up about turning down various parts.
Did you turn down the role of Han Solo in the original ‘Star Wars?’” Cohen asked.
Reynolds confirmed the news, and gave an explanation when pressed by the host.
“Because I thought that – you know, I don’t like science fiction pictures,” he admitted.