Happy Burt-Day, Bandit!

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Burt Reynolds as The Bandit

Here are five things you need to know about Burt Reynolds, Bandit from Smokey & The Bandit fame, as he celebrates his 78th birthday today, Feb. 11:

5. While he may have become the most famous on-screen bandit in the history of Hollywood, Reynolds’ father (Burton Milo Reynolds) was a police chief.

4. Despite his many he-man roles on TV and in films, Reynolds captured critical acclaim for his role as Woodrow Newtown, an affable former pro football player coaching his somewhat hapless hometown high school squad in Evening Shade. He won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for his role in Evening Shade.

3. Ever the sportsman, Reynolds co-owned the Tampa Bay Bandits on the long-defunct USFL. The Bandits were coached by Steve Spurrier and became one of the most successful USFL franchises. He and Smokey and the Bandit co-star Jerry Reed wrote the team’s theme son, Bandit Ball.

2. Over the years, Reynolds was romantically linked with Inger Stevens, Tammy Wynette, Lucie Arnaz, Adrienne Barbeau, Susan Clark, Sally Field, Lorna Luft, Tawny Little, Pam Seals, Dinah Shore, tennis star Chris Evert, Judy Carne, Loni Anderson and Kate Edelman Johnson.

1. Reynolds turned down the lead roles in two wildly successful film franchises: Star Wars (as Han Solo) and James Bond (as 007 himself).