Burt Reynolds top top the set of global Studiosí stage 27 wherein he is directing boy name Sheen in NBCís ìAlfred Hitchcock Presentsî in Los Angeles, California, Oct. 23, 1985. Reynolds directed many of the episodic reflects he go for television such together ìDan Augustî and ìGunsmoke.î (AP Photo/Red McLendon)

Before the movies Smokey and the Bandit and The Cannonball Run or the hit sitcom Evening Shade, a young Burt Reynolds wowed tv audiences as a recurring personality on Gunsmoke.

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Dennis Weaver"s 1962 departure from Gunsmoke opened the door for a new character, the half-Comanche blacksmith Quint Asper. Reynolds, a former football player in ~ Florida State University, edged the end over 300 other actors. Reynolds wasn"t new to television at the time, having starred in Riverboat and appeared in such standard TVseries as Perry Mason and also The Twilight Zone.

Suddenly, Gunsmoke had a young heart-throb v a Hollywood future to enhance the popular of Rawhide continuous Clint Eastwood.

We very first meet Quint in the illustration "Quint Asper comes Home" together he"s avenging his father"s death. Still, Marshall Matt Dillon (James Arness) watch the an excellent in the upset young man, opened the door for the character to appear in the collection until Reynolds left the present in 1965. While three periods is proper a blip top top the radar for a TV present that aired CBS for 20 years, Reynolds" fairly short run on the television series remains popular among fans of standard Westerns.

Reynolds later told the New York Times the being top top Gunsmoke to be "the happiest period of my life. Ns hated come leave that show but I feel I had served my apprenticeship and also there wasn"t room for two leading men."

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After leaving Gunsmoke, Reynolds starred in the short-lived detective series Hawk (ABC) and Dan August (CBS). The latter ended in time because that Reynolds to audition for Lewis Medlock because that his an initial showing of crate office dominance, 1972"s Deliverance.

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So, before he ended up being a football player (Semi-Tough, The Longest Yard (the original and the Adam Sandler remake)) and also an adult movie director (his Oscar-nominated duty as Jack Horner in Boogie Nights) on the huge screen, Reynolds winner America over on maybe the greatest Western film collection of every time.