From 1977 to 1982 Reynolds was at the height of his career. He was the most bankable star in Hollywood with a series of massive hits on his hands including the action comedy Smokey and the Bandit, the Hollywood comedy Hooper, and the dark comedy The End (which he also directed). At the top of his career he was a proper action star. With his trademark mustache and distinctive, deep timbre, Reynold’s star power was undeniable. During those years there were two types of people: those who wanted to be Reynolds and those who wanted to be with him.
One of the biggest moments at his peak stardom was his highly publicized relationship with actress Sally Field. You know Field from her hit films including Lincoln, Forrest Gump, and Norma Rae, and from her dozens of awards including two Oscars. Their relationship (which began in the late ’70s) spawned what seemed like thousands of articles about their status and romance. They broke up after several years together and it’s been a source of great regret for Reynolds even until this day. He has said repeatedly in recent interviews that Field is “the one that got away.” In a recent New York Times piece he told reporter Kathyrn Shattuck that he should have married her instead of his ex-wife actress Loni Anderson. “I’d be afraid to ask her out because I think she’d laugh and hang up,” he said. “But I couldn’t [approach her]. All you’ve got left at that point is your pride. And I didn’t want to bash that in too much.” Judging by his comments over the years we’d say there is still some unfinished business there.
Although the action star’s career waned over the preceding years he continued an impressive career. His most recent film, The Last Movie Star, stars Reynolds as a fictional-adjacent version of himself as a former A-lister forced to confront his past glory as he accepts a lifetime achievement award. The film was a welcome return for Reynolds and his performance received rave reviews for a vulnerability he rarely displayed on the big screen.
There’s much to this Hollywood star that many people don’t know. You see his face and recognize his films but there’s so much beyond the surface that he only recently began to reveal in his interviews and recent autobiography. You’d be surprised at what a unique life this action star has led.