Late Hollywood legend and iconic actor Burt Reynolds has been laid to rest. On Thursday, more than two years after Reynolds died at the age of 82 in a Jupiter, Florida hospital, family and friends gathered for a small private Zoom ceremony as the actor’s ashes were placed in a lakeside grave at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, the Associated Press reported. It remains unclear why it took more than two years for Reynolds to be laid to rest.
According to Hollywood Forever president and co-owner Tyler Cassity, Reynolds' gravesite is marked with a temporary headstone reading “Burt Reynolds.” A bust of Reynolds, who was cremated shortly after his passing, is currently under commission with hopes for it to be unveiled in a public ceremony on the third anniversary of his death later this year. Reynolds’ gravesite is also marked with a wreath and flowers draped over his grave following the Thursday ceremony. A small toy car resembling the Trans Am he drove in the Smokey and the Bandit movies is also said to be decorating the site. Reynolds' final resting place is near the grave of actor Tyrone Power and across the lake from rockers Johnny Ramone and Chris Cornell, with the historic cemetery also home to the graves and mausoleums of Judy Garland, Cecil B. DeMille, Rudolph Valentino and Douglas Fairbanks.
Reynolds passed away on September 6, 2018, after he went into cardiac arrest. In a statement at the time of his passing, the actor's niece, Nancy Lee Hess, said that while Reynolds had "health issues," his death "was totally unexpected." She remembered her uncle as "not just a movie icon," but someone who was "a generous, passionate and sensitive man who was dedicated to his family, friends, fans and acting students."
Reynolds was cremated just days later, and two weeks after his passing, a small memorial service was held for the late actor in West Palm Beach, Florida. Us Weekly reported that the service began with an opening prayer followed by a performance of "Forward to the Moon" from local singer-songwriter Cooper Getschal. Mo Mustaine, Reynolds' longtime friend, shared a recollection of the Oscar nominee's life, and his Last Movie Star costar Todd Vittum delivered a eulogy. The service also included a scripture reading and a "Message of Hope" read aloud by pastor Jimmy Scroggin and ended with a prayer from the actor's Smokey and the Bandit II co-star Patrick Moody.
Reynolds appeared in more than 180 TV shows and movies throughout his career, including the films Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit, The Cannonball Run, Stroker Ace, Best Friends, City Heat, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and Hooper. He passed away just weeks before he was scheduled to begin shooting on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.