The 'Bandit' has rode off into the sunset and onto the pearly gates. Today, the world has lost Hollywood actor, Burt Reynolds, at the ripe age of 82. Most knew him as the famous cowboy-hat wearing wheelman behind the equally-famous black Pontiac Trans Am in the 1977 action-comedy flick 'Smokey and The Bandit', and its sequels.
But apart from that movie, the late Burt Reynolds also starred in other movies where he was behind the wheel.
Four years before appearing as 'The Bandit', Reynolds appeared as the lead role in the action-thriller 'White Lightning'. The movie centered around 'bootlegging', the illegal running of moonshine. The epic finale pits Reynold's character in a car chase against a corrupt sheriff who killed his younger brother and took bribes from other illegal runners.
Then in 1978, he starred in the stunt car movie 'Hooper'. From the film's namesake, Burt Reynolds played 'Sonny Hooper', an aging stunt driver that wants to make one final stunt to end all stunts before retiring. Three years later, he went on to star in another action-comedy movie 'The Cannonball Run'. It spawned a sequel which debuted in 1984 which portrayed the famous cross-country race in an accurate yet comedic manner.
In 1983's 'Stroker Ace', Reynolds plays an arrogant NASCAR driver who finds himself with no sponsor after running afoul of his previous partner. He then finds himself in a new contract, only to find himself in another whirl of trouble.
Fast forward to the 2000s, and we see Burt Reynolds play a major role in not one, but two movies, the 2001 IndyCar film 'Driven' and the 2005 movie remake of the classic TV show, 'The Dukes of Hazzard'.
While Burt Reynolds did make a name for himself in other cult films like 'Boogie Nights' and the original 'Longest Yard', his rise to fame could be attributed to anything with four wheels, car-chase scenes and action-comedy.
It's safe to say that his influence on cars, car fans and in the movie industry was a testament to his career and in his life. Rest in peace Burt Reynolds.