As he was becoming Hollywood’s biggest box office draw for five years running, Georgia became number three in the nation for film production behind only New York and California. Burton Leon Reynolds, Jr. was born in Lansing, Michigan, in 1936 and was a star football player at Florida State before a car accident ended his athletic career.
Reynolds turned to acting instead and never looked back, working on stage and television before striking box office gold with Deliverance in 1972. The adaptation of James Dickey’s harrowing novel was filmed on the Chattooga River in north Georgia.
Reynolds went on to make The Longest Yard, Gator, Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run, and Sharkey’s Machine – all shot in Georgia.
The man who was honored at the 2003 Atlanta Film Festival for his contributions to Georgia’s film industry was born on February 11, 1936, Today in Georgia History.
In the late 1970s, Burt Reynolds owned a nightclub called "Burt's Place" at the Omni International Hotel in downtown Atlanta.