The entertainment world lost an icon Thursday with the death in Florida of Burt Reynolds, the mustachioed big-screen sex symbol who dominated Hollywood in the late 1970s with films such as “Smokey and the Bandit,” “Deliverance” and “The Longest Yard.”

Reynolds died at Jupiter Medical Center in Florida at age 82, his manager, Erik Kritzer, told The Hollywood Reporter. He died of an apparent heart attack.

In a statement to the trade publication, Reynolds’ niece, Nancy Lee Hess, said her uncle’s death was “unexpected.”

“My uncle was not just a movie icon; he was a generous, passionate and sensitive man who was dedicated to his family, friends, fans and acting students,” Hess said. “He has had health issues, however, this was totally unexpected. He was tough. Anyone who breaks their tailbone on a river and finishes the movie is tough. And that’s who he was. My uncle was looking forward to working with Quentin Tarantino and the amazing cast that was assembled.”

Reynolds was set to appear in Tarantino’s upcoming film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

Flowers will be placed on Reynolds’ star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame late Thursday afternoon by the Hollywood Historic Trust. Thursday night, lights will be dimmed in his honor in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese Theatre, where Reynolds’ cemented footprints and handprints have been on display for 37 years.

A high school football star who went to Florida State University on an athletic scholarship, Reynolds’ dreams of pro-football stardom ended with a car crash that derailed his career. Encouraged by a junior college instructor in Florida, Reynolds turned to acting, eventually landing small roles on Broadway before landing guest roles on TV shows such as “The Twilight Zone,” “Perry Mason” and “Route 66.”

He later scored regular roles in TV Westerns such as “Riverboat,” “Gunsmoke” and “100 Rifles.”

Reynolds skyrocketed toward stardom in the early 1970s, propelled largely by his starring turn in 1972’s “Deliverance,” focused on four friends who go on an ill-fated trip through the Southern wilderness.

Just before the film’s release, Reynolds famously appeared in the buff in Cosmopolitan magazine centerfold — an appearance that entrenched him as a sex symbol but one that Reynolds later lamented as a career mistake.

Reynolds continued his monstrous 1970s success with the prison-football drama “The Longest Yard,” then moved on to the cross-country road film “Smokey and the Bandit,” pairing him with love interest Sally Field and a famed black Pontiac Trans-Am. He went on to appear in hits such as “The End,” “Hooper,” “Starting Over,” “Gator” and “The Cannonball Run.”

His film career waned in the late 1980s and 90s, and he moved back to television, starring in the series “Evening Shade,” which earned him an Emmy Award in 1991.

But he had a film career resurgence in the mid- to late-1990s thanks to acclaimed roles in “Striptease” and then “Boogie Nights,” in which he played adult-film producer Jack Horner. The role earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. He won a Golden Globe for the role.

Reynolds was married twice — to actress Judy Carne in the 1960s and to blonde bombshell Loni Anderson from 1988-93.

He is survived by his son, Quinton.

Field issued a statement to Us Weekly praising her “Smokey and the Bandit” co-star and ex-boyfriend.

“There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away,” she said. “They stay alive, even 40 years later. My years with Burt never leave my mind. He will be in my history and my heart for as long as I live. Rest, Buddy.”

Actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called Reynolds one of his heroes.

“He was a trailblazer,” Schwarzenegger said. “He showed the way to transition from being an athlete to being the highest-paid actor, and he always inspired me. He also had a great sense of humor – check out his `Tonight Show’ clips. My thoughts are with his family.”

Adam Sandler, who starred in a remake of “The Longest Yard” that featured Reynolds in a supporting role, called him a “true legend.”

“Our hero. Funny as hell and a for-real badass,” he said. “So many great movies. So many great stories. Such a great dad. Will be missed by all. Deepest condolences to his family.”

On his Twitter page, Sylvester Stallone wrote, “A sad day, my friend Burt Reynolds has passed away. I remember him back in 1979, he always reminded me that I should’ve cast him as Colonel Trautman in `First Blood.’ I said that’s impossible, because you’re too expensive and too famous, and probably tougher than Rambo! He laughed. He had a great sense of humor and I enjoyed his company so much… RIP.”

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