Burt Reynolds dead at 82; watch Golden Girls, Tonight Show, Gunsmoke highlights

Burt ReynoldsThere is some very sad news reverberating through the entertainment world today: Acting icon Burt Reynolds is dead at 82.

While Reynolds is more commonly known for his work in film with dozens of major credits to his name — including classics like Smokey and the Bandit and Boogie Nights — he also did have a great history on television of providing laughter, drama, and more.

Reynolds’ acting career began all the way back in the late 1950’s with roles on such series as Flight and Riverboat, but one of his first breakout roles came courtesy of Gunsmoke, where he appeared in 50 episodes as the character Quint. He had a chance to take part in some signature Western moments, including a bar brawl that you can see below. What’s a Western without an exceptional bar brawl?

There’s something quaint about watching scenes like this one below now — it’s a reminder of just how much TV has changed, but also how there are echoes of the classic bar-fight scene still today.

Reynolds, in his era, was also a popular guest on the late-night talk show circuit, and would have no problem getting silly and making fun of himself along the way. A great example of that comes in the clip below via The Tonight Show back when Johnny Carson was the host. There’s certainly a bit of slapstick humor in here. Carson’s tradition of having a stable of great guests is something that we’ve seen continue with other hosts like David Letterman and Conan O’Brien.

For the past few decades, Reynolds has also done a number of great sitcom guest spots, including on The King of Queens and also Golden Girls, which produced the very memorable scene below where his status as a sex symbol among women of a certain generation was highlighted. This ending is known now as one of the most-popular endings of an episode of this particular show.

Reynolds will be missed for not only his ability, but also being able to bring a little bit of levity into the world no matter the circumstance. Thoughts go out to all who loved him. (Photo: NBC.)

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