Reynolds had visited New Zealand to make the 2004 film Without a Paddle, alongside Seth Green. He was the top moneymaking star at the box office in an annual poll of movie exhibitors 1978 through 1982. He returned to television, where he'd gotten his start, mostly in Westerns, and produced his own sitcom, Evening Shade, which brought him an Emmy. He could be affable with the media but at times downright hostile.
Reynolds, named the top box office draw for five consecutive years by The National Association of Theatre Owners, was an Oscar nominee, a two-time Golden Globe victor, and the recipient of the People's Choice Award for six straight years.
The actor starred in TV shows such as "Gunsmoke" and "Dan August" before rising to fame for his performance in the 1972's "Deliverance". When it comes to his legacy, the actor said he knows exactly how he wants to be remembered: "He worked hard, he was always on time and knew his lines, and he tried really hard to be a good guy". He tapped his athletic background to play star football player-turned-inmate "Paul Crewe" in The Longest Yard. In recent years, the actor called his 1970s and 1980s on-and-off-again girlfriend and "Smokey And The Bandit" co-star Sally Field the "love of his life". Reynolds shared the screen with his fair share of legendary actresses, including Jill Clayburgh, Candice Bergen, Dolly Parton, Goldie Hawn, and Julie Andrews.
Such was his popularity in box office polls during this period that he managed to weather high-profile disasters like the musical At Long Last Love, Lucky Lady and Nickelodeon.
He starred in dozens of films, also including White Lightning (1973), W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings (1975), Hustle (1975), Nickelodeon (1976) and Semi-Tough (1977).
His mistakes on screen included singing in the musical comedy The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. His charm and chiseled features - fronted by a sly and somewhat sinister grin - made him a sex symbol during his prime and a highly sought leading man in Hollywood. "He would have won the Oscar had he not dug such a hole for himself". Reynolds also generated attention for financial woes and his struggles with prescription pain medication. He also "backed away" from playing Batman on TV in the '60s.
With his devil-may-care attitude, a permanent twinkle in his eyes and his trademark mustache, good-ol"-boy Reynolds was the bankable box-office star of the 1970s and early "80s - accumulating a string of box-office hits and unforgettable appearances on "The Tonight Show" couch with his "dear friend", host Johnny Carson".
Born in MI in 1936, Reynolds played football for Florida State University before injuries ended his sports career and he moved into acting. But his promising career as a running back was cut short by a knee injury suffered in a vehicle accident.
Reynolds attended Florida State University on a football scholarship, and eventually set out for New York City to pursue a career in acting.
'Cosby Show' actor shamed for Trader Joe's job
The actor worked at the supermarket chain for 15 months before quitting in light of the recent publicity surrounding his day job. Owens did not respond to requests for comment, but he thanked supporters on Instagram, posting, "There's no shame in hard work".