Falling Star: Burt Reynolds
Career Pinnacle: A ’70s superstar thanks to Deliverance and Smokey and the Bandit, Reynolds reemerged in the ’90s as the hero of CBS’ Evening Shade.
Latest Misstep: Since settling his tawdry public divorce from Loni Anderson in January, Reynolds has careened from one crisis to another. He scuffled with a Fox TV producer who asked about the divorce, lost longtime mentor and former lover Dinah Shore to cancer, broke up and reunited with girlfriend Pam Seals, and was recently attacked by muggers outside an L.A. bookstore. Reportedly he threw a tantrum on the Shade set and tearfully collapsed into the arms of guest star Kathie Lee Gifford. In addition, on March 30, Reynolds was rushed to an area hospital suffering from chest pains, nausea, and dizziness.
Perceived Problem: He’s falling apart.
Next Step: ”Burt needs to realize that he’ll have to handle the stress, because it will never go away,” admits Reynolds’ spokesman, Joe Sutton, who adds that Burt’s celebrity friends are rallying to his side. (Clint Eastwood has suggested meditation; Bill Cosby has recommended a stress therapist.) Meanwhile, Reynolds recently signed an estimated $1 million contract with Hyperion to pen his autobiography.
Advice: Though there are those who believe Reynolds should lie low for a while, Sutton disagrees. ”I don’t think Burt needs to slow down. He just needs to put stress in its place.”