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Fire and desire
on March 1, 2002
MY LIFE, the autobiography of actor Burt Reynolds, was published just a year or two too soon. The book came out shortly after Reynolds' public battle with former wife Loni Anderson, when people were talking more about his love life than his movies. Had Reynolds published this after his work in the film BOOGIE NIGHTS put him back on top, it would have been a more satisfying conclusion to the story.
When illness and gossip threatened an end to Burt Reynolds' acting career, he recalled the words of his former girlfriend Dinah Shore, who had assured him that sooner or later his talent would win back what he had lost. As BOOGIE NIGHTS earned Reynolds an Oscar nomination, how right the late Ms. Shore proved to be. (As I write this, 3/1/02, it would have been Dinah's 85th birthday.)
If you like movies, Burt Reynolds, or both, you can't miss with MY LIFE. The fire in the man's soul and his desire for life's finer things (including the finest women) have made for some incredible ups and downs. And when you're Burt Reynolds, you have a thousand tales of the fantasy life to tell.
Other MY LIFE reviews question the actor's willingness to take a swing at those who upset him. In Reynolds' defense, he never ran from a fight even when he knew he was outmatched. That's the difference between a coward and a man's man: the will to fight with no guarantee you will win. While Reynolds admits passing on man-handling an ex-football player who was in a group of acting students he was throwing out of a class, he also tells about the time he took on Tony "Two Ton" Galento with no hope of winning. That's a tough guy.
Read MY LIFE - or Burt'll come after you!