The startling secret the macho superstars don’t want YOU to know!

Clint Eastwood is riding to the rescue of pal Burt Reynolds!

Burt – once worth $185 million – is struggling to keep his home, and pay off ex-wife Loni Anderson.

“Clint feels bad for Burt,” a source told The ENQUIRER.

“The two go back a long way.

"It was Clint who urged Burt to go into movies.

“Clint reached out to Burt to discuss doing a film together, which would bring Burt needed cash.

"He also offered Burt the chance to be ‘a consultant’ on a movie – another way to bring him some bucks. Burt is too proud to take a ‘handout.’”

The two were featured on a 1978 “Time” magazine cover as “Hollywood’s Honchos,” and starred in the 1984 crime comedy “City Heat.”

Now, the 78-year-old is fighting to keep the Hobe Sound, Fla., home where he’s lived for nearly 35 years. Banking giant Merrill Lynch foreclosed on the palatial spread in 2011, claiming Burt quit making payments.

The “Evening Shade” star has fought the foreclosure, and a hearing was scheduled for August 7.

The four-acre waterfront property – which boasts a movie theater, indoor waterfall, boat dock and helicopter pad – was once worth $15 million, but is now valued at $2.8 million.

Adding to Burt’s woes, he still owes Loni $97,000 from their 1994 split.

As recently reported she recently went to court to collect, and Burt was ordered to pay his tab, which has ballooned to $154,520.

Burt has battled health woes, undergoing heart surgery in 2010 after entering rehab the previous year for addictions to alcohol and painkillers.

“Clint wants to find something to work on with Burt,” said the insider.

“(He) hates to see Burt in the straits he’s in.”