Burt Reynolds has rarely pulled his punches during a career spanning over 50 years. The ENQUIRER has a first look at the new manuscript for his autobiography “But Enough About Me,” where the tough-guy actor goes all-out in baring intimate secrets about his celebrity pals and famous girlfriends!
The book has Burt revealing that he was even enough of a superstar to snub Frank Sinatra when the singer waved him over in a Los Angeles restaurant. Burt was out with his much-older girlfriend Dinah Shore, and Sinatra was impressed by Burt's bravery.
As Reynolds recalled: “Frank could be so charming and thoughtful, it was scary. But he could also be unbelievably cruel. You never quite knew which way he would go.” Burt isn’t a fan of Sinatra’s children, though. He calls Frank Jr. “the dullest man I’d ever met,” adding: “The daughters, Nancy and Tina, were not my favorites either…Talk about a sense of entitlement!”
Burt also saw the worst of his close pal Clint Eastwood after a woman at a bar poured a beer over the head of the “Dirty Harry” star.“[Clint] didn’t say anything,” adds Reynolds. “He just stood up, picked up a beer, and poured it over her head. And then he picked up another one, and another, and another. He poured four or five beers all over her. Then he said, ‘I’ll see you later,’ and walked out.”
Drinks were handled much better when Burt worked with Jackie Gleason on “Smokey and the Bandit.” He says Jackie “started drinking at eight in the morning and drank all day, but never got drunk.” Burt was once sitting with his co-star off-set when the TV legend fell off his chair into the long grass. “A hand shot straight up holding the glass skyward,” writes Reynolds, “and a triumphant voice shouted, ‘Didn’t spill a drop!’"
Burt even got to hang out with cowboy hero Roy Rogers — who was a real-life crack shot and big game hunter. But when Reynolds was partnered with Rogers at a hunt in Canada, Roy missed an easy shot at a giant moose. “It was an awkward moment until Roy said, ‘He’s obviously never seen any of my movies,’” wrote Reynolds.
Luckily, Burt missed out on a fight with the legendary Marlon Brando, who went up to the star at a ’70s party and declared Burt had capitalized on his resemblance to him. “I’ll tell you right now,” replied Burt to the rotund legend, “I’m not having surgery because you don’t like the way I look. But I promise not to get fat!”
The famous sex symbol also talks about the women in his life — although he regrets turning down a beauty in New York back in the 1950s. He recalled how an older buxom beauty with a “low, kind of whiskey voice” asked him if he wanted to go home with her. After declining, he realized the next day that the woman was the iconic actress Greta Garbo!
Burt also dishes on his first marriage to “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In”star Judy Carne. The 1963 union only lasted three years. “It soon became obvious that we had very little in common,” he writes. “I couldn’t get into her lifestyle — the non-stop partying, the hard drugs, the kinky sex — and she wasn’t thrilled at my tendency towards fisticuffs.” Burt adds that it “broke [his] heart” when Judy later accused him of being physically abusive.
“Breaking up with Dinah [Shore] was the hardest thing I’d ever done,” he confessed. “I could barely function for weeks.” Sadly, Burt revealed that he’d broken up with the talk-show hostess who was 20 years his senior because he wanted a child.
But the star shares his biggest romantic regret for his “Smokey and the Bandit” co-star Sally Field. The couple enjoyed a long romance. Burt even revealed they proposed to one another “more than once,” but the timing was always wrong. “I’m sorry I never told her that I loved her,” wrote Burt, “and I’m sorry we couldn’t make it work.”
Burt is a lot less sentimental about his marriage to “WKRP in Cincinnati” star Loni Anderson. “The truth is, I never did like her,” he reveals, adding that while Loni looked gorgeous when he was with her, he would be thinking: “This is not the person for me. What the hell am I doing with her?”
Calling her “The Countess,” Burt claimed that Loni plunged him deep into debt with her wild spending sprees. She maxed out his $45,000 American Express credit card limit in 30 minutes and bought everything in triplicate, including everyday dresses, jewelry, china and linens. She would buy a $10,000 designer gown and only wear it once, he adds.
Burt also reveals that he’d soon need that cash, too — after many of his Hollywood pals abandoned him after a mystery illness in the 1980s that convinced insiders that he had contracted the AIDS virus!
“It wasn’t just the usual a--holes,” writes a very blunt Burt, now 79, “It was people I thought were my good friends.” Burt credits true pals like Ann-Margret, Elizabeth Taylor, Charles Durning, Dom DeLuise, Jon Voight, and Clint Eastwood. But he added: “So many friends had deserted me, I joked that I was saving lots of money on Christmas cards!”
Concerned friend Johnny Carson invited Burt on “The Tonight Show,” where the struggling star set the record straight. “I had a prop with me, a little black address book,” wrote Reynolds. “I held it up and said it contained the names of all the people who had deserted me through the illness, the AIDS rumors, the tabloid headlines. I said, ‘It’s always nice to know who your friends are.’ Then I opened the book and began tearing pages out!”
Burt was finally diagnosed with “temporomandibular disorder” — also known as TMD or TMJ — and the actor managed a triumphant comeback on television in shows like “Evening Shade” and playing private eye B.L. Stryker in a series of TV-movies. He’s frail today, but this shocking new memoir shows Burt is still ready to settle old scores!