In 1977, Burt Reynolds and Sally Field met while working on the iconic film Smokey and the Bandit in which Reynolds played Bo "Bandit" Darville, while Field portrayed runaway bride Carrie.
The costars grew close very quickly, and became romantically involved with each other. They remained a couple for five years before parting ways in 1982.
Reynolds went on to marry his second wife Loni Anderson in 1988, but he has made it clear that Field was "the love of his life," and their split, which he admitted was his fault, was his "biggest disappointment."
"I did four movies with Sally and spent five years with her. She was the love of my life and I screwed the relationship up," he told the Daily Mail in 2016. "That sense of loss never goes away. I have no idea what Sally thinks about it. She could pick up the phone and speak to me but she never does. I spoke to her son recently. He said that his mum talks about me all the time. Maybe she’ll phone me one day. I’d love to have that conversation."
It's been two years since the interview and it's unclear whether Field ever reached out to Reynolds, but after the news of his passing broke on September 6, she was among the first to release a statement addressing her loss.
“There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away,” Field said. “They stay alive, even 40 years later. My years with Burt never leave my mind. He will be in my history and my heart, for as long as I live. Rest, Buddy.”
The Hollywood legend passed away at the age of 82 at a Florida hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest. He had been dealing with heart problems for years, and even underwent heart surgery in 2010.
Over the last 24 hours, his ex-wife Anderson and their adopted son Quinton as well as many of his fellow celebrities have all shared heartfelt tributes online.
"Quinton and I are extremely touched by the tremendous outpouring of love and support from friends and family throughout the world," Anderson said in a statement to Fox News. "Burt was a wonderful director and actor. He was a big part of my life for twelve years and Quinton's father for thirty years. We will miss him and his great laugh."
Reynolds' Boogie Nights costar Mark Wahlberg tweeted, "Rest in peace to a legend and a friend."
Country legend Dolly Parton, who starred opposite Reynolds in the 1982 film The best Little Whorehouse in Texas, also posted a photo and a sweet tribute on social media.
"Oh how sad I am today along with Burt's millions of fans around the world as we mourn one of our favorite leading men," Parton tweeted. "I know we will always remember his funny laugh, that mischievous sparkle in his eyes, and his quirky sense of humor. You will always be my favorite sheriff, rest in peace my little buddy. I will always love you."
Sylvester Stallone shared a post on Instagram in which he said that it was a "sad day," before sharing memories of Reynolds.
"A sad day, my friend BURT REYNOLDS Has passed away. I remember him back in 1979, he always reminded me that I should’ve cast him as Colonel Trautman in FIRST BLOOD , I said that’s impossible, because you’re too expensive and too famous, and probably tougher than Rambo ! He laughed , He had a great sense of humor and I enjoyed his company so much... RIP Buddy."
Singer Blake Shelton called Reynolds "possibly my favorite personality of all time" and extended his "thoughts and prayers to his friends and family."
Extremely sad to hear about the passing of Burt Reynolds.. Possibly my favorite personality of all time. Thoughts and prayers to his friends and family.— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) September 7, 2018
Comedian Steve Harvey wrote that he was "very sad" to hear about the actor's passing, and also reminded us that the Deliverance star was "a pioneer of the cool mustache."
Very sad to hearing about the passing of Burt Reynolds. He was a great actor, a philanthropist and a pioneer of the cool mustache. Thank you, Burt. You will be missed. pic.twitter.com/nuuFWMSnJg— Steve Harvey (@IAmSteveHarvey) September 6, 2018
Other celebrities, including Antonio Banderas, Ryan Reynolds, Ricky Gervais, Whoppi Goldberg, Ralph Macchio, Vanilla Ice, and Russell Crowe, also expressed their sorrow over Reynolds' death.
A great Hollywood icon has left us. Thank you for all the hours of entertainment. RIP Burt Reynolds.— Antonio Banderas (@antoniobanderas) September 7, 2018
Photo BRICH (AP) pic.twitter.com/Ilhg7uUXoI
RIP Burt Reynolds. Seems his whole career was tongue in cheek. Always warm and funny.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) September 6, 2018
R.I.P Burt Reynolds . He was a friend of mine. R.I.P Judge, R.I.P Old Bear, R.I.P Innocence,— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) September 6, 2018
Remembering every member of the Mystery, Alaska cast and crew, what a lovely community that was, I hope you are all happy and busy .
What a traumatic week. Now today. My good friend Bert Reynolds has passed away. Feeling super emotional right now. Long live The #Legend #Bandit #BurtReynolds you will be missed. pic.twitter.com/JcJZ5VmU1J— Vanilla Ice (@vanillaice) September 6, 2018
Fair you well Burt Reynolds no one had more fun & made it fun for everybody else...Rest In Peace old friend. condolences to the family and everyone who loved him..❤️— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) September 6, 2018
Sad to hear of the passing of legend, Burt Reynolds.— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) September 6, 2018
As a kid I must have seen Smokey and the Bandit 10 times in the theatre. Met Burt Reynolds a few years back... so glad I did. Deliverance, Boogie Nights... some great ones. RIP— Ralph Macchio (@ralphmacchio) September 6, 2018
There is not an ounce of doubt that Hollywood suffered an enormous loss with Reynolds' passing. He will surely be missed every day. May he rest in peace.