It's one year since beloved Smokey and the Bandit star Burt Reynolds' passed away, and to mark the anniversary of the Boogie Nights actor's death, his loved ones are opening up about how they remember him. Reynolds' Evening Shade co-star Marilu Henner spoke to Closer Weekly about the last star, saying, "Burt was so loving and giving. He was the most wonderful, generous person I've ever worked with." Fellow co-star Elizabeth Ashley then added, "The thing I loved about Burt was what you saw was what you got. He always had your back." Ann Lawlor, Reynolds' first high school girlfriend also spoke fondly of the actor, recalling, "He was always bent on doing the right thing. Burt talked like he was a bad boy, but he was a good kid."
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Hollywood producer Rob Burnett also gushed over the star, saying, "[He] couldn't have been [a] nicer or [more] approachable [guy]. But there was still an undeniable aura about him, like he was the last of the old-time movie stars."
Notably, back in June, Reynolds' business partner Gene Kennedy sat down with Fox News and opened up about his relationship with the Hollywood icon.
"Burt was definitely a father figure, a grandfather figure to me," Kennedy shared. "I mean, we were good friends, but over the times we had to travel together, I got to know him on a personal level. Very smart man, gave me a lot of wisdom and advice."
"I've got five grandchildren, and he was very active in their lives," he went on to say. "We did things together, sometimes with the children. And I think it made him happy and us, as well. My father passed away in '07, so we definitely hit it off in that regard. So he's been a big influence on my life. I definitely wouldn't be in some of the positions I've been lately without Mr. Reynolds. His participation in my life has changed it forever for me."
"He loved California. He definitely had a home here. But his true home was in Florida," Kennedy also revealed. "His father was the police chief at Riviera Beach in Florida. When he was a young man, he wanted to go off to college in Florida. It was his home state, and he loved Florida very much. The Southern traditions and the beach and the coastal area of West Palm Beach and Jupiter, that was his home. That's where his roots were."
Reynolds passed away of a heart attack in September 2018. He was 82 years old at the time of his death.
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