Reynolds re-emerged a year ago for a personal movie "The Last Movie Star" which looked into the life of a faded movie star filled with regret and longing, an exaggerated version of the actor content to living a mostly quiet life in Jupiter, Florida.
Reynolds' career was also dotted with notable rejections as he reportedly turned down the roles of Han Solo in Star Wars and super cop John McClane in Die Hard.
With his trademark mustache, rugged looks and macho aura, he was a leading male sex symbol of the 1970s.
Burt Reynolds in the April, 1972 centrefold of Cosmopolitan magazine.
Back in March, Reynolds revealed to "Today" show host Hoda Kotb that Field was the love of his life. He played tough-guy Lewis Medlock - opposite Jon Voight, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox - in the chilling tale of a canoe trip gone bad in rural Georgia.
Many of his films were set in the South. He was second billed in Renny Harlin's racecar actioner "Driven", starring Sylvester Stallone; played the coach in the comedic 2005 remake of "The Longest Yard" that starred Adam Sandler; and played Boss Hogg in the feature adaptation of "The Dukes of Hazzard", also in 2005, but other film work was mostly in lower-profile material.
Reynolds was best known for his roles in Smokey and the Bandit, Boogie Nights and Cannonball Run.More news: U.S. Open: Serena beats Kanepi in three sets, Nadal advances
"I didn't open myself to new writers or risky parts because I wasn't interested in challenging myself as an actor".
"Very sad to hearing about the passing of Burt Reynolds".
Reynolds was born in Lansing, Michigan, on February 11, 1936.
Reynolds was also a college football player at Florida State and shared a room with ESPN's Lee Corso. Reynolds often was cast in Westerns, including the popular "Gunsmoke" television series in the 1960s. And you always run into some jerks. But his '60s output, which included "Navajo Joe", "100 Rifles" and "Sam Whiskey", did little to further his feature film aspirations.
He received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of adult film director Jack Horner in 1997's "Boogie Nights".
Reynolds had been battling health issues for some time.