The actor died of cardiac arrest, his agent, Todd Eisner, told NBC News.
“My career is not like a regular chart, mine looks like a heart attack”, he told The Associated Press in 2001.
Reynolds was born in Lansing, Michigan, in 1936, and in 1946 moved with his family to Riviera Beach, Florida, where his father became a police chief.
He experienced some health issues later in his life.
Reynolds was hospitalized in 2013 after a bout with dehydration and severe flu symptoms.
“I do miss her”. He was the top money-making star at the box office in an annual poll of movie exhibitors 1978 through 1982.
The financial success and cult following of his movies did not parlay into much when it came to critical accolades.
“It seemed like a good idea at the time – but now I think it was really stupid. It proved I could act, not only to the public but me”.
Deliverance was a breakthrough performance for Reynolds, where he played one of four men who head to the wilderness for the weekend and end up in the middle of nowhere.
He was also filming Quentin Tarantino’s new movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood alongside Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Reynolds, whose career spanned six decades, received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of porn director Jack Horner in the 1997 film “Boogie Nights”. No other details were immediately available Thursday.
Pal of Burt, Billy Dee Williams, tweeted: “Burt Reynolds was a friend of mine, sad to hear of his passing”. He was a trailblazer.
Reynolds had plenty of ups and downs during his career, but in the final paragraph of his memoir, the actor said: “I always wanted to experience everything and go down swinging”. Around this same time, Reynolds also began to make frequent guest appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Many actors, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, tweeted their condolences to the actor’s family shortly after learning about his passing.
Burt Reynolds in the April, 1972 centrefold of Cosmopolitan magazine.