Burt Reynolds' Family Issues Statement After Actor's Death

Today marked the tragic passing of Burt Reynolds, signaling an outpouring of support from friends and colleagues in Hollywood.

Now the legendary actor's family issued a statement after Reynolds passed away in Florida at the age of 82.

"My uncle was not just a movie icon; he was a generous, passionate, and sensitive man who was dedicated to his family, friends, fans, and acting students," said Nancy Lee Hess, Reynolds' niece, in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter.

"He has had health issues, however, this was totally unexpected. He was tough. Anyone who breaks their tailbone on a river and finishes the movie is tough. And that's who he was. My uncle was looking forward to working with Quentin Tarantino [in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood] and the amazing cast that was assembled."

In addition to the poignant statement made by Reynolds' niece, the actor has received many touching tributes coming from all over Hollywood.

Former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger posted a statement on social media, honoring the iconic actor.

"Burt Reynolds was one of my heroes," Schwarzenegger wrote. "He was a trailblazer. He showed the way to transition from being an athlete to being the highest paid actor, and he always inspired me. He also had a great sense of humor - check out his Tonight Show clips. My thoughts are with his family."

Reynolds was famously parodied on Saturday Night Live by comedian Norm MacDonald, who portrayed the actor as a contestant on Celebrity Jeopardy. MacDonald's take on the Reynolds served as a constant source of frustration for host Alex Trebek, played by Will Ferrell. MacDonald posted his own tribute to Reynolds shortly after the news broke.

Director Kevin Smith has made frequent references to Smith's body of work in his various films, and has gone on record to state the importance of his influence.

"As THE movie star of my childhood, the Bandit stole our hearts for decades," Smith posted. "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..."


Reynolds passed away on Thursday at the Jupiter Medical Center in Florida. The actor was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in Boogie Nights, and is known for films such as Deliverance, Cannonball Run, Smokey and the Bandit, and The Longest Yard.