Burt Reynolds Blamed Frail Look for Years of Performing His Own Stunts

Burt Reynolds used a walking stick for the later years of his life, which he blamed on his tendency to film his own dangerous stunts for his movies.

The Hollywood legend, known for films such as Smokey and the Bandit, died in Florida at the age of 82 after a reported heart attack.

Back in March, however, fans of the actor began to feel concerned for his health after he was photographed at the JFK Airport in New York City using a cane, as can be seen in photos released by the Mirror.

The actor had previously blamed his experience performing his own stunts on-set for why he had to be more careful, and needed support to walk, as he grew older.

"I did all my own stunts, which is why I can't walk very well now. At certain times in the morning I regret it, trying to get out of bed," Reynolds said in an interview on ITV's Jonathan Ross Show in 2015.

"I can point to certain places and know it's from certain pictures," he said.

The actor was not fazed by his need to use a cane, as he even joked during the interview about how it messed up his game with the ladies.

"It's very embarrassing if you're with a woman and you go to throw her over to the other side of the bed and your knee goes out," he said.

Following news of the actor's death, his ex-girlfriend and Smokey and the Bandits co-star Sally Field released a tribute to Reynolds.

"There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away. They stay alive, even forty years later," Field said in a statement. "My years with Burt never leave my mind. He will be in my history and my heart, for as long as I live. Rest, Buddy."

His family also released a statement via niece Nancy Lee Hess.

"My uncle was not just a movie icon; he was a generous, passionate and sensitive man who was dedicated to his family, friends, fans and acting students," she said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

"He has had health issues, however, this was totally unexpected. He was tough. Anyone who breaks their tailbone on a river and finishes the movie is tough. And that's who he was. My uncle was looking forward to working with Quentin Tarantino [In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood] and the amazing cast that was assembled," Hess added.


Reynolds is survived by his adopted son Quinton.