He Was A Man Of Steel: Burt Reynolds Beat Painkiller Addiction, Survived A Risky Heart Surgery, And Continued Acting Despite His Injuries On Set

Date September 21, 2018

On September 6, we had to say goodbye to yet another great actor. Burt Reynolds, an iconic movie star of the 70's and 80's, died from a heart attack at the age of 82.


Burt Reynolds' health story

The actor was known as a ladies’ man, the status he regretted later in life. Naturally, there had been some wild rumors about his personal life, not least about his health. Back in the mid-80's, American tabloids circulated rumors about Reynolds having AIDS, which he denied on numerous occasions. Of course, it wasn’t true: he wouldn’t have reached his eighties if he had indeed had AIDS back in the 1980's.


READ ALSO: Kate Hudson Shares A Photo Of Her Mom, Goldie Hawn, In Tribute To The Late Burt Reynolds

What was true, however, was his "workplace injury," so to say. While filming 'City Heat', the actor was hit in the face with a chair so hard that he developed a jaw problem known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

Reynolds developed headaches and light sensitivity, and he couldn’t chew well. He became addicted to painkillers but he managed to overcome this problem in several years.


The aughts were not a good decade for Reynolds, both career- and health-wise. In 2009, Reynolds had a back surgery and became addicted to pain meds again. He spent some time in rehab, of his own free will. At the time, his manager told People:

After a recent back surgery, Mr. Reynolds felt like he was going through hell and after a while, realized he was a prisoner of prescription pain pills. He checked himself into rehab in order to regain control of his life. Mr. Reynolds hopes his story will help others in a similar situation. He hopes they will not try to solve the problem by themselves but realize that sometimes it is too tough to do on their own and they should seek help, as he did.


READ ALSO: How Did Burt Reynolds Get Addicted To Painkillers? The Unfortunate Accident That Almost Ruined His Life

A year later, in 2010, the actor underwent a high-risk quintuple bypass surgery. He recovered well.

In his later years, Reynolds relied on a walking stick, which he blamed on the many years of doing his own stunts.


It seemed the actor was doing well. Back in March, just a few months before his death, his manager described his health as “perfect” to People.

Reynolds hadn’t planned to quit acting; he was expected to appear in Quentin Tarantino’s new movie.


Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. Reynolds’ life was cut short by a heart attack. But the legendary actor will always stay in our hearts!  

READ ALSO: Burt Reynolds Left Only Child, Son Quinton, Out Of His Will, Making His Niece In Charge Of Its Execution. But Why?