He created the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre, a non-profit dedicated to involving the community in all aspects of the arts and preserving Reynolds' legacy for generations to come.
Reynolds was nominated for an Oscar for his role as a porn director in the 1997 movie, Boogie Nights.
His roles over the years ranged and pivoted from Southern heartthrob to tough guy to comedy, notably for his role as Rep. David Dilbeck in the 1996 film "Striptease", which flopped at the box office but earned him widespread praise for his comedic prowess.
Before that, he was the archetypal good ol' boy actor, frequently starring in action movies and the kind of hyper-masculine roles that simply don't exist in modern movies. "By the time I finally woke up and tried to get it right, nobody would give me a chance".
However, Reynolds career never gained the subsequent momentum that Boogie Nights suggested it might, and much of his work since consisted of small roles in low budget movies and TV voicework on shows such as King of the Hill and American Dad.
"Not Burt Reynolds! Grew up loving Smokey and the Bandit when I was a kid".
From James Bond to Hans Solo in George Lucas' 1977 blockbuster "Star Wars", Reynolds also reportedly was among Paramount Pictures' top choices to play Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 epic "The Godfather".
Reynolds is survived by his son, Quenton, whom he adopted with ex-wife Loni Anderson, when he was three days old. "I didn't take the part that would be the most challenging", Reynolds said in an interview with CNN.
The moustachioed actor had undergone heart bypass surgery in 2010. "He showed the way to transition from being an athlete to being the highest paid actor, and he always inspired me".
Two of Reynold's own "Bandit" Pontiac Trans-Ams have crossed the auction block over the years.