Burt Reynolds, 1936 – 2018
The Bandit is gone.
Lansing native Burt Reynolds passed away Thursday, Sept. 6 in a Florida hospital. So far, it's being reported he died from cardiac arrest. He had been suffering from heart problems for quite a few years.
As many Lansing residents are aware of, Burt was from Lansing. For many years, he claimed to have been born in Georgia but in the last few years of his life he did indeed admit he was born in Lansing, Michigan, on February 11, 1936.
When his father was stationed in Missouri, the family packed up and moved there as well. The family soon moved to Lake City, Michigan when his dad was sent to Europe.
After being a regular cast member of the TV programs "Riverboat" and "Gunsmoke" in the early 60's, his career took a huge boost when he starred in the 1972 film "Deliverance". A nude (but covered) centerfold spread for 'Cosmopolitan' magazine gave him extra 'exposure' and he became the darling of the late-night talk show circuit.
More films followed which made his fame even higher: "Smokey and the Bandit", "Cannonball Run", "The Longest Yard", and many, many others.
He was never able to find happiness with a true love and admits that the love of his life was Sally Field, who he let 'slip through his fingers'.
Watch some Burt Reynolds films tonight and remember the good times this Lansing man gave us.