Burt Reynolds Needs Help To Walk
A frail Burt Reynolds visited the BBC TV Centre and BBC Radio Studios in London this week as part of his promotional tour for his new memoir, “But Enough About Me.” The legendary macho man got lots of support from his entourage while walking. Rumors have swirled about his health, but one this is certain: the tough guy was known for doing his own stunts, which left his body beaten, battered and bruised. He underwent back surgery in 2009 — and then had to go to rehab after becoming addicted to painkillers.
Burt spent time telling interviewers about the roles he turned down in the 1970s, when he wanted to be taken seriously as an actor after the success of “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Semi-Tough.” But he actually turned down the role in "Terms of Endearment" that went to Jack Nicholson! He said he also passed on the Richard Gere role in "Pretty Woman."
The 79-year-old movie star recently revealed one of his biggest regrets was turning down the biggest role ever offered to him: James Bond! According to Burt, he was offered the role in 1970, after George Lazenby left after just one movie. "In my stupidity, I said, 'An American can't play James Bond. It has to be an Englishman. Bond, James Bond. Nah, I can't do it.' Oops. Yeah, I could have done it. I think I could have done it well."
Despite his reputation as a lady-killer of mythic prowess, Burt wasn’t always able to spot talent when he saw it. He told the story of being hit on by legendary beauty Greta Garbo at a party. She was in her 50s and he was in his early 20s, but he insisted she was “beautiful, extraordinary.” The only problem was: Burt didn’t recognize her, and turned her down.
But other roles and other women are now distant memories. Burt repeatedly said his greatest regret is letting former girlfriend Sally Field — whom he called the "love of my life" — get away. “Even now, it's hard on me. I don't know why I was so stupid. Men are like that, you know. You find the perfect person, and then you do everything you can to screw it up."