R.I.P. Burt Reynolds: A Brief Bibliography

Burt Reynolds has died at age 82. This is incredibly sad news, not least because I’m certain that very few people under 30 have any idea who he is. (I might have toed the line of actionable workplace offenses when I showed a recent intern a picture of his 1972 Cosmopolitan centerfold. No, I’m not linking to the full picture—Google it.)

Do people still watch Deliverance? Smokey and the Bandit? Boogie Nights? Who knows. What’s certain, however, is that those who don’t are missing out on Reynolds’ wry, simmering star-turns, to say nothing of that mustache.

For a major celebrity, Reynolds has left behind a surprisingly small number of books. That number, in fact, is three: his autobiography, But Enough about Me, published just three years ago, another, My Life, in 1994, and Hot Line: The Letters I Get…and Write, in 1972, when Reynolds reigned as America’s top box-office star and had enough sex appeal to make money on a compilation of lusty fan mail accompanied by pictures of his butt. (Interested parties can click here for excerpts.)

But Enough about Me seems like a sure bet for the uninitiated to familiarize themselves with Reynolds’ career. In his Booklist review, David Pitt praised it for its thoughtfulness, introspection, and ability to surprise. Did you know Reynolds hadn’t had a spleen since college? Me neither.

Reynolds’ ex wife, Loni Anderson, penned her own memoir, My Life in High Heels, in 1995. And there are, of course, any number of books by and about his famous friends, like Johnny Carson and Dinah Shore. With any luck, more books about Reynolds will appear in the years to come—about pre-internet celebrity, perhaps, or mid-century sexuality, or chest hair. Until then, let’s remember a man as generously gifted as he was prolifically hirsute.

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About the Author:

Eugenia Williamson is the former Associate Editor of Digital Products at Booklist.

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