Burt Reynolds Death: Sports World Mourns Actor, Ex-NCAA Football Player

Burt Reynolds’ impact on pop culture extended well into sports.

The legendary Hollywood star died Thursday at age 82, prompting an outpouring of respect and mourning. While Reynolds is best known for his iconic mustache and roles in films like  “Deliverance,” “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Boogie Nights,” he also was influential in the sports world, beyond his status as a favorite actor among athletes.

Reynolds was an accomplished high school football player and earned a scholarship at Florida State University. While he played only in 1956 and one game in 1957 for the Seminoles, it was noteworthy because he was teammates and roommates with ESPN’s Lee Corso.

The Atheltic, in its tribute to Reynolds, recounted some of the good times he shared with Corso.

The Wisconsin Badgers recalled the time in August 1994 when Reynolds shot his short film for women who wanted to learn more about football at Camp Randall Stadium.

NBC’s NASCAR broadcast team dedicated its tribute to Reynolds to his role in “Smokey and the Bandit.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. marked Reynolds’ death via Twitter by remembering his performance in “Stroker Ace.”

Fellow actor and former “Mr. Universe” and “Mr. Olympia” Arnold Schwarzenegger counted Reynolds among his heroes.

Jarret Payton reminds his Twitter followers Reynolds and his father, Chicago Bears legend Walter Payton, were close friends.

WWE bid farewell to Reynolds by revisiting the time he graced WrestleMania X as ring announcer for the main event WWE Championship Match between Bret Hart and Yokozuna.

Meanwhile, WWE legend The Iron Sheik expressed his admiration for Reynolds’ mustache amid his own self-promotion.

“BURT REYNOLDS YOU HAVE THE 2ND BEST MOUSTACHE ON EARTH AND I LOVE YOU FOREVER,” Sheik wrote. “GOD BLESS YOU.”

Thumbnail photo via Dan MacMedan/USA TODAY Images

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