Relive the actor’s life in photos:
Born in East Lansing, Michigan, Reynolds received a football scholarship to Florida State University and roomed with future college football legend Lee Corso in the ‘50s. After a knee injury threatened a career in the NFL, Reynolds turned to the school theater program. In his 2015 autobiography But Enough About Me, Reynolds called his English teacher, Watson B. Duncan III, who pushed him to try out for his first play, Outward Bound, his mentor.
Nearly 30 years after Reynolds and actress Sally Field called off their five-year, on-off romance, the actor spoke candidly about their relationship in the December issue of Vanity Fair. “I miss her terribly. Even now, it’s hard on me. I don’t know why I was so stupid. Men are like that, you know. You find the perfect person, and then you do everything you can to screw it up,” he admitted to the magazine at the time.
Reynolds called his son his “greatest achievement” during a 2018 interview with Closer Weekly. “He’s a wonderful young man and is now working as a camera assistant in Hollywood,” he gushed at the time. “He never asked for any help with his career, he did it all himself, and I’m so proud of him. I love him very much.”
Robert De Niro helped Reynolds make his way down the carpet during a rare appearance at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City in 2017. He was promoing his movie Dog Years alongside his costar Chevy Chase. “Great to see Mr. De Niro, who I love, and … you know, all the people that I know,” Reynolds told the Associated Press at the time. “It’s very sweet.”
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!