Kevin Smith Pays Tribute To Burt Reynolds as "True American Icon"

Filmmaker and geek icon Kevin Smith took to social media today to praise action movie legend Burt Reynolds, who passed away today at age 82.

Smith has always been an outspoken fan of Reynolds, with either the actor himself or the Smokey and the Bandit films being referenced in numerous films and other projects Smith has developed.

"As THE movie star of my childhood, the Bandit stole our hearts for decades," Smith wrote on Twitter. "I always loved how Burt Reynolds worked with his friends as often as he could and then showcased the fun of movie-making in the end credits of his flicks. He was true American icon. Hate to see him go..."

Smith's most memorable Reynolds reference was in Mallrats, when T.S. and Brodie talk with Alyssa Jones about a party during which Alyssa had sex with Clerks baddie Rick Derris on a pool table, while Rick and Alyssa were dressed as Smokey and The Bandit. According to T.S. and Brodie, Alyssa looked just like Burt Reynolds "except for the mustache."

References to Smokey and the Bandit or Burt Reynolds also appear in (at least) Clerks (where one of the Smokey and the Bandit movies can be seen prominently on a video store shelf) and Dogma (in which the homeowner's name in the house Azrael takes over is "Mrs. Reynolds," confirmed to be a Burt Reynolds gag in the film's commentary track).

Reynolds, who starred in popular films like Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit, The Cannonball Run, and Boogie Nights, had reportedly been dealing with health problems recently.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of Reynolds' death on Thursday afternoon. According to the report, Reynolds died on Thursday morning at Jupiter Medical in Flordia, per his manager Erik Krtizer.

While THR didn't include a cause of death, The Daily Mail reports that Reynolds died of a heart attack. This was a previous health concern for the actor, who underwent heart surgery in 2010.

Reynolds began taking over as one of Hollywood's top leading men in the late 1970s, when he became the number one box-office attraction for five consecutive years. The actor became well known amongst audiences for his fun-loving, good-ol'-boy roles.

He was nominated for an Oscar in 1997, for his portrayal of porn director Jack Horner in Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights. While Reynolds ended up losing the award to Good Will Hunting's Robin Williams, he did take home a Golden Globe.

Even in his older years, Reynolds continued his work in both film and television. The actor recently appeared in the indie film The Last Movie Star, which told the story of an aging acting legend. Reynolds was currently shooting Quentin Tarantino's upcoming film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie. That film is scheduled to be released in 2019.

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Reynolds has also become well known for the roles that he turned down over the years. The actor reportedly turned down the roles of both Han Solo in Star Wars and John McClane in Die Hard. He also "backed away" from playing Batman on TV in the '60s.

Reynolds is survived by his son, Quenton, whom he adopted with ex-wife Loni Anderson, when he was three days old.