I was saddened to hear of the death of Burt Reynolds today on the radio, but it wasn't unexpected. The last movie I had seen him in, late last year, was called "The Last Movie Star" and he looked like he was in bad shape doing it. It was a great role for him, done by talented director Adam Rifkin (my review here: https://fox5sandiego.com/2018/03/19/the-last-movie-star/
I was born in the late 60s, so his career was blossoming as I was growing up. I was a little kid when he did "Deliverance" but when they showed it on regular TV (despite having the rape scene edited out), it wasn't an appropriate film for a small boy. Yet it blew me away. Of course, we all loved "The Longest Yard."
I'd laugh as he'd saunter out on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (although I don't remember the times he ever guest hosted).
It also made me laugh when underrated comedian Norm McDonald would impersonate him on Saturday Night Live (remember he wrote the name "Turd Ferguson" on his screen in the Jeopardy! sketch?)
When I was about 13-years-old, I came across an address I heard was his. I sent him a fan letter. I mentioned all the movies I loved. I asked him if he could send an autographed photo. I didn't realize that if you make an autograph request, you're supposed to send a Self-addressed stamped envelope. I even had the nerve to ask for a specific picture. I asked if he had any 8x10 shots from Deliverance or Longest Yard.
A month later, a huge envelope arrived, with a picture autographed and inscribed to me.
I still have it. And I still have the memories of his many great performances.
RIP Mr. Ferguson!