Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Bandit

The handsome fellow above is one Burt Reynolds born February 11th, 1936 in Lansing, Michigan. I know I am a month late, but Burt is as good a hero as you want to have, and today was hero light again. A bit of a military brat, Burt started off in Lansing, but did most of his growing up near West Palm Beach, Florida. His first ambition in life was to be a football player, and he was a star at first. He eventually attended Florida State University on a football scholarship, but a knee injury and a car accident ended his hopes of playing professional football. He continued his studies with the hope of becoming either a police officer, like his father, or a parole officer, but soon fell into an acting class. He bounced around a bit, like most starving actors, until in 1972 he got the role that made him a star. That role was in a little movie called Deliverance (from which the above photo is taken), and it made Burt a household name, for much better reasons that it made Ned Beatty famous. He has made a lot of films, and been on a lot of TV, but the films that make him my hero are "The Longest Yard," and "Smokey and the Bandit." Two films that made him an icon of the 70's, and Burt lived large during this time. He posed nude for Cosmo magazine, and spent a lot of money, had a lot of affairs, and lost most of his hair. He has been in more than his share of stinkers, but keeps making comeback after comeback. Most of these comebacks are fueled by the fact that he made, and spent a shit ton of money. His divorce from Loni Anderson, made him headlines for the wrong reason, and cost him millions. His career was pretty much dead when he appeared in "Striptease" with Demi Moore, but his role in that stinker was highly praised. His next role, in "Boogie Nights" gained him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He is still churning out films to this day, but he will forever be the Bandit to me. The cheesy mustache, the funny laugh, and the self-deprecating sense of humour are what puts him on the hero podium today. So, for all those qualities that some many of us lesser men would love to have, Burt Reynolds (February 11th, 1936-present) you are my stand in (196th), hero of the day.

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