Did Burt Reynolds Have a Bad Temper? The People he Fought With

In the short span of time since news broke about Burt Reynolds‘ passing, there has been an outpouring of tributes from many of his former costars. From Smokie and the Bandit leading lady Sally Field to Boogie Nights star Mark Wahlberg, Reynolds colleagues and friends have poured over what a lovely man he was.

It makes it easy to forget that Reynolds also had a reputation for being a bit of a loose cannon.

Burt Reynolds in 1972

Burt Reynolds poses in 1972. | Terry Disney/ Express/ Getty Images

Despite his signature grin and seemingly good nature, whispers that Reynolds was hot-tempered emerged early in his career. This tough exterior was attributed to being brought up by a strict police chief father and by how he fielded criticism from his peers. (Heck, being so heavily criticized by Marlon Brando couldn’t have been easy.) Reynolds also suffered from an on-set injury which left him with a broken jaw and in immense pain. The mix of pain with the heavy cocktail of medications he was taking could have also been responsible for his behavior.

Rumors of Reynolds’ bad temper swirled after he’d filmed Boogie Nights. He was initially so unhappy with the movie when he first saw it he fired his agent. This came on the heels of claims from Reynolds’ ex-wife Loni Anderson that he had been volatile and abusive during their marriage. (Reynolds never commented on the allegations during the messy divorce proceedings.) Then came the “slapping” incident in 2005, when Reynolds smacked a CBS-TV assistant producer in the face at the premiere of the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard. Reynolds’ publicist later claimed the slap was meant to be good-natured, although it isn’t clear whether that’s true or not.

Yet, all in all, instances such as the slap don’t seem to be highlights of Burt Reynolds’ career. Even with these few gaffes during his career, the late actor is being remembered for how much people enjoyed working with him.

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