[What follows is a feature I wrote for The Daily Oklahoman about one of the greatest movie stars and human beings ever… Burt Reynolds]
Maybe it was the mustache. Or the unscripted quips. Or the genteel Southern manner.
Or just maybe it was that laugh, a cackle delivered by one comfortable in his own skin – inviting his audience gut bust with him, as though they were all in a private joke.
That’s our Burt. And he’s, unbelievably, gone.
Fame, according to Jeanine Bissinger, is “often conferred or withheld just as is love, for reasons and on grounds other than merits.” Burt Reynolds earned his fame with raw boned talent and insight into the business of filmed diversion. [Read on here...]
This was all we needed to hear: The DUKE was coming to Oklahoma City.
It was the year of our Lord, 1972 and The National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City (now called the National Cowboy Museum and Western Heritage Center) hosted every year a grand event called the Western Heritage Awards, where they gave a trophy called “The Wrangler” to outstanding theatrical and television Westerns and the winner this particular year was a film called “The Cowboys,” starring, well, you know who. [Read on here...]