"Reynolds has been a Hollywood leading man for six decades, known for his legendary performances, sex-symbol status, and storied Hollywood romances. In his long career of stardom ... Reynolds has seen it all. [This book] will tell his story through the people he's encountered on his amazing journey. In his words, he plans to 'call out the assholes,' try to make amends for being the asshole myself on too many occasions, and pay homage to the many heroes he has come to love and respect"-- Amazon.com.
So when I saw that Burt had written a memoir, I knew I had to read it at some point. I saw the opportunity to check out the audiobook (read by Burt himself) and I seized it! It must first be pointed out that Burt Reynolds is now 80 years old, and you can hear it in his voice. But I loved this book all the more because it was read by him!
I am constantly amazed and impressed by the vast amount of people Burt has worked with and made friends with over the years. Of course, I knew about Dinah Shore, Angee Dickinson, Sally Field, Loni Anderson, and Jon Voigt, etc. But there are so many other famous people that he knows or knew, well. Johnny Carson, Frank Sinatra, Bette Davis, Ossie Davis, Dom DeLouise and many more. After describing his childhood and his relationship with his parents, Reynolds spends the rest of the book going over his many friendships, as they evolved and as he evolved as an actor. He mentions movies he’s grateful he was a part of, as well as films he passed on or was passed over for. He dishes on a few celebrities that he does not respect or just never got along with (think Joan Crawford, Raquel Welch, Marlon Brando). I suppose the whole book reads like a “Who’s Who” of Hollywood, but because many of the people mentioned are from a time when I was growing up, it appeals greatly to me.
My girlfriend and I went on a Burt Reynolds field trip. He lived across the street from the park he fondly recounted swimming in with the alligators but where he lived is in a gated community so we couldn't see the house. His ranch where Smokey and the Bandit was filmed has been sold for a housing development. The closest we got was taking our picture in front of the sign at Burt Reynolds Park. Burt gave a lot back to the community of Jupiter. He will be sorely missed.