US actor Burt Reynolds – who starred in several of the 1970s most successful films – has died at the age of 82. He was reported to have suffered a heart attack.

Dog Years premiere with Burt Reynolds (Getty Images/Tribeca Film Festival/N. Galai)

The veteran actor died at a hospital in Florida, his manager Erik Kritzer told film industry magazineThe Hollywood Reporter.

Reynolds was reportedly taken to hospital after suffering from a heart attack, according to the celebrity news website TMZ.

Reynolds, who starred in renowned films including “Deliverance,” “The Cannonball Run,” and “Smoky and the Bandit,” was one of the biggest cinema attractions of the 1970s and 80s.

At the peak of his career, Reynolds was one of the best-paid actors in the film business.

From football to film

Born in the state of Georgia, as the son of a police officer, Reynolds had hoped to become a professional football player. His hopes were dashed when he was injured in a car crash. He started acting after enrolling in junior college and moved to New York, where he began to work in stage and television roles, making his film debut in 1961.

Well-known for his trademark mustache, Reynolds experienced a career downturn in the 1980s. He made a dramatic comeback in 1997, when he was nominated for a best-supporting actor Oscar for his part in the film Boogie Nights. It was the first and only Academy Award nomination  that the long-time lead actor ever received — for a role, playing a porn director, that he despised.

Reynolds turned down several notable roles, including that of Han Solo in “Star Wars.” The actor also directed several movies in which he starred. They included “Gator” (1976), “The End” (1978), “Sharky’s Machine” (1981) and “Stick” (1985).

rc/msh (Reuters, dpa, AFP, AP)

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