Burt Reynolds also left out Quinton, his only son with Loni Anderson, out of the will. His estate was given to a trust, the control of which was with his niece and nephew.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 24, 2021. It has since been updated.
Many people look back on their lives during their twilight years and reminisce on the good and the bad. Some might look at their life and see only joy while others will be filled with regrets. Mistakes are part of being human but sometimes they haunt us for years after they have been committed. For instance, Burt Reynolds lamented marrying Loni Anderson, 77 long after they divorced.
Reynolds, who passed away in 2018 at the age of 82, told People in an interview in 2015 that marrying his ex-wife Anderson in 1988 "was a really dumb move on my part." He added, "I should have known that you don’t marry an actress. It wasn’t lollipops and roses." But, what brought him to that conclusion?
The couple met in 1983 when they starred in the film Stroker Ace, according to Cheatsheet. At the time, The Longest Yard actor had just gotten out of a relationship with Sally Field, whom he called the love of his life and "the one who got away."
Anderson, also a famed actress, and Reynolds dated for almost six years before tying the knot in 1988. However, they had a tumultuous marriage and an even messier divorce. The Partners in Crime actress accused Reynolds of being abusive. Meanwhile, he accused her of being a gold-digger and of cheating. He also cheated on her in return.
“I caught her cheating on me,” he said, as per People. “And so I just… I made the decision to call it off." Over the years, he has made many more claims against his ex even though they parted ways decades ago.
In 2015, he said, "She bought everything in triplicate, from everyday dresses to jewelry to china and linens. ‘I never wear a dress after it has been photographed. I have to dress like a star.'" He told People, "I gave her a platinum American Express card with a $45,000 credit limit. She maxed it out in half an hour." He also wrote in his memoir that Princess Diana wrote a thank you note to him when he and Anderson broke up as it kept her name out of the press.
However, it wasn't all bad right from the start. When they got married, he said he was a lucky man for marrying his "best friend." Anderson had said, "I feel like Cinderella. I married Prince Charming." They also adopted a son, Quinton Reynolds. However, people change and this power couple went separate ways because they wanted different things in life.
It was in June 1993 that Reynolds filed for divorce and his rep said that their marriage was "irretrievably broken." The statement also said that the Boogie Nights actor had "the highest respect and regard for Miss. Anderson… he feels his priorities and hers have become different."
One of the reasons that Reynolds later revealed was that they no longer had a physical relationship by the time he filed for divorce. "I don’t see how she can be in total shock when you have not… if your husband has not touched you in the biblical sense… in almost three years,” he said. “How can you be surprised?" he said.
In 2016, he revealed that his mother, Fern H. Reynolds, also thought that marrying Anderson was a mistake. "I remember when we got married, it was in a chapel I’d built specifically for our wedding,” he told Men’s Health at the time. “I was walking down the aisle, and Perry Como was walking with me.” He said that his mom was "shaking her head ‘No'” at him. "I didn’t pay attention, but my mom was always right," he said.
It took the couple 22 years to sever ties financially, according to LA Times. Before that, he painted her as an underemployed actress with low self-esteem and also accused her of being a bad mother to Quinton. However, he left his son out of his will. "I intentionally omit him from this, my Last Will and Testament, as I have provided for him during my lifetime in my Declaration of Trust," the will read, as per People. The trust is being managed by his niece and nephew.
After Reynolds passed away death, Anderson had only kind words for him and thanked the fans for their outpouring of love.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by (L) Hulton Archives (R)Alberto E. Rodriguez