Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘Gunsmoke’: The Surprising Reason Burt Reynolds Wanted a Break From Westerns

‘Gunsmoke’: The Surprising Reason Burt Reynolds Wanted a Break From Westerns

While Burt Reynolds was a box office sensation in the 1970s, he actually started out acting in a number of Westerns. One of those roles found Reynolds on the CBS classic Gunsmoke. On that show, he played Quint Asper and became quite popular with viewers.

But he found himself tiring of Western-related roles. This happened to be in the early 1960s when Reynolds piled up those Western roles.

“They put me on one show last year to test for public reaction. They got a few letters and put me on 8 more; then 17 more,” Burt told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, according to MeTV. “I’m getting away from the kick that everybody hates me this season,” Reynolds said. With that said, why in the world did he decide to leave Gunsmoke? “I was getting sick of punching people in the mouth […] I’m not so much the ‘angry young man.’ Of course, it is there, but there are ways to throttle it down.”

Of course, Reynolds did take his stardom in stride. He seemed to enjoy the sweet perks that come along with being a celebrity. Burt Reynolds also found himself playing in private investigator, or PI, roles. One of those was Dan August, but it did not last long.

He soon turned his attention to the big screen, making such memorable movies as Deliverance and Smokey and the Bandit. Reynolds also found a way to put his athletic abilities into movies. He handled the lead role in the prisoner football movie The Longest Yard.

Burt Reynolds Was Always on Our TV Screens

Because of his good-natured ways, Burt Reynolds was a popular talk show guest for many shows. When appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Reynolds and Carson had great timing between both men. One memorable show had Reynolds bring out a can of shaving cream, putting it all over Carson’s clothes.

Yet Reynolds was not totally through with TV. He would star in Evening Shade, a sitcom that had quite a cast in it, too.

For a period of time, Burt Reynolds dated actress-singer Dinah Shore. One time, Reynolds said that if he was going to marry any of his girlfriends, then it would be Shore. Her many show business friends became part of Reynolds’ world, too.

Westerns faded out of the television world for a bit. But there are some people who feel a comeback is in the works. Fans of Reynolds’ work have plenty of his movies to fall back on and enjoy. They can watch either his movies or TV shows.