Smokey and the Bandit grossed $126 million (that's $508 million today, and only Star Wars took in more that year) and was Alfred Hitchcock's favorite movie.
A running back in high school and college who talked with legendary coach Bear Bryant about attending Alabama, Reynolds put his gridiron skills to use in Robert Aldrich's The Longest Yard (1974), playing Paul "Wrecking" Crewe, who leads his rag-tag team of prison inmates in a game against the guards.
the Tampa Bay Bandits, a U.S. Football League team in which he had an ownership stake, were named for the movie.)
in 1972 he became the first non-comedian to sit in for Johnny Carson as guest host, and in the 1980s, he developed the syndicated game show Win, Lose or Draw with host Bert Convy. The set was modeled after his living room.
He was Hollywood's top-grossing star every year from 1978 through 1982, equaling the longest stretch the business had seen since the days of Bing Crosby in the 1940s. In 1978, he had four movies playing in theaters at the same time.
He received an Oscar nomination for Boogie Nights (1997), and won an Emmy Award in 1991 for best actor in a comedy series for playing Woodrow "Wood" Newton, a former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback who returns to his small-town home in Arkansas to coach a woeful high school team.