Even though they never officially married, Burt Reynolds and Sally Field shared one of Hollywood’s most iconic romances. In fact, their five-year relationship goes down in history as one of the most passionate and tumultuous love stories showbiz has ever seen.
The Mrs. Doubtfire actress and the late Boogie Nights actor, who died at age 82 in 2018, first crossed paths on the set of Smokey and the Bandit in 1977. From that moment on, Burt was “the most important influence that came into [Sally’s] life other than [her] children,” she once told Closer.
Burt and Sally began dating after starring alongside each other in their first film together. Over the next few years, the former pair had onscreen reunions in 1978’s The End, 1978’s Hooper and 1980’s Smokey and the Bandit II.
Their whirlwind romance lasted for five years before they called it quits in 1982. Although Burt and the Hello, My Name Is Doris star seemed like soulmates to the world, the acting duo was actually struggling behind closed doors.
“Burt got restless. He had a very self-destructive streak that way,” Sylvia Resnick, author of Burt Reynolds: An Unauthorized Biography and The Evolution of the Hollywood Heartthrob, exclusively told Closer in June 2016. “Sally thought she could live with it, but it made her too upset and anxious.”
Following their breakup, both stars moved on with their lives — or so fans thought — and ended up marrying other people. Burt tied the knot with actress Loni Anderson in 1983, though they sadly divorced in 1988. Sally, on the other hand, was married to Alan Greisman from 1984 to 1994. The two had each previously been married once before, as well — Burt to Judy Carne from 1963 until 1965 and Sally to Steven Craig from 1968 until 1975.
After all was said and done regarding their marriages, fans wondered if Sally and Burt would ever get back together despite not keeping in touch for many years. Prior to Burt’s death in September 2018, a source close to the actor told Closer that he would’ve loved to have reconnected with his former flame.
“Burt and Sally ended on a bad note when they split in 1982, but he’d love a visit from her,” a friend of the Deliverance actor exclusively shared in July 2018, just months before he died of cardiac arrest. “He would be incredibly touched if she came and they could talk over old times — the good times.”
Although Burt and Sally never rekindled their romance, their incredible love story is still one to be remembered. Scroll through the gallery below to see Burt and Sally’s relationship timeline.
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