Film and TV icon Burt Reynolds passed away at the age of 82 after suffering a heart attack on Thursday morning.
Shortly before his death, the 1970s heartthrob opened up about his love life and “the one that got away.”
In the early 1970s, Reynolds had a long and happy romance with Dinah Shore, an actress 20 years his senior. Over the years Reynolds had been quoted to say that Shore was the love of his life, but in his final days he revealed a secret that fans suspected for decades.
While Shore was one of Reynolds’ greatest loves, and the sorrow from her loss has never left him, he later admitted his heart was truly captured by another.
Reynolds is most well know for his rocky marriage with Loni Anderson. The couple were wed in 1988, but split just five years later in what has been called the “nastiest break-up” in Hollywood history.
While talking about one of his final films, The Last Movie Star, Reynolds was asked who he considered to be the love of his life.
“You’re naughty, you really are,” Reynolds said with a teasing smirk. “I’m dead in the water no matter what I say.”
“She was 7 when I fell in love with her,” Reynolds begins cryptically. “She stayed 7 for about eleven years.”
After a long pause he continued, “I would say Sally,” referring to his Smokey and the Bandit co-star Sally Fields.
He continued to explain how he fought for Fields to get the female lead in Smokey. When the producers said she wasn’t sexy enough, Reynolds replied “talent is sexy.”
Hear the full interview in the video clip below.